TLC Hospice newsandgt;andgt; see page 6

2015-05-15 06:00
TLC nursing and caring staff celebrate International Nurses Day.PHOTO: supplied

TLC nursing and caring staff celebrate International Nurses Day.PHOTO: supplied

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THE issue of euthanasia or doctor-assisted suicide highlights the value of palliative care for the relief of pain and suffering for patients who are terminally ill.

The ethos of Hospice stresses that pain cannot be viewed as a persuasive enough reason to resort to the extreme measures to end one’s life.

It is the view of TLC Hospice and the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) that if euthanasia were legalised, the right might be abused, exposing patients to the risk of having their lives ended prematurely because of the lack of palliative care services in both state and private health care. It is also an unnecessarily extreme measure given the palliative alternatives that neither prolong life nor hasten death.

TLC, under the guidelines from the HPCA, promotes the relief of pain and other distressing symptoms for people with life-threatening and life-limiting illness.

Euthanasia has been highlighted in the news recently and this needs to highlight the work that TLC Hospice does in the Kokstad community.

On 30 April, a judge in the Pretoria High Court granted an application by Advocate Stransham-Ford to be assisted by a willing and qualified medical practitioner to end his life. In other words, the applicant was granted the legal right to die and the doctor who assisted his demise, either by the administration of a lethal agent or by providing him with the necessary agent to administer himself, would not be prosecuted.

The High Court emphasised that the order applied only to this index case and that anyone who required the assistance of the medical practitioner to commit suicide would need to approach the court and that each application would be considered on its own merits. The patient in question had died on the morning prior to the court order being issued.

Tuesday, 12 May is commemorated as International Nurses Day. TLC’s professional nurses and care givers are trained in palliative care and provide holistic care to patients.

TLC is not merely there to offer care to patients who are dying, in fact, many of TLC’s patients are nursed back to health to become valuable members of society once more. - Supplied

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