It’s always a thrill for writers to see their work in final published form, but I’m especially pleased that my story, ‘Rights of Passage: A New Approach to Palliative Care’ is the cover feature for the November 2013 issue of Canadian Nurse.
The story is about a new approach to hospice palliative care that could help more Canadians with life-limiting diseases live well until death. Right now, less than 30% of Canadians get access to hospice palliative and end-of-life care services. This is a real shame because there is so much that can be done to provide pain and symptom management, advance care planning and psychosocial support for both patients and family members. There is never “nothing more they can do.” Palliative care is not a last resort when curative treatments have failed; it can be helpful much earlier in disease trajectories.
We don’t often like to think about our care priorities as we age or when faced with a life-limiting illness, but if we don’t start the conversation, our wishes will not be known and our loved ones and the health-care system will be left guessing. Depending on where you live in Canada, there are different legal considerations to ensure advance directives will be interpreted properly.
I learned lots writing this piece and I’m grateful to all of the sources who shared their voices and perspectives. On a final note, my editors worked magic with graphics that complement the story beautifully and I’m glad that they kept my title!
Click on the image to download a copy of the PDF.