Canadians likely had many important conversations with their loved ones over the holidays, but probably most didn’t talk about what should happen in the event they could no longer speak or make medical decisions for themselves.
We are about to become a country that extends patients the right to a hastened death, but offers no legislative guarantees or assurances that they will be well looked after until they die.
Doctors are not generally well trained to engage in end of life conversations, meaning that goals of care often remain unclear; and patients may not receive the care they want, nor the opportunity to live out their final days in the place they would want to die.
Ignorance and lack of skill in attending to the needs of dying patients are still tragically common in Canada.
Canadians now have a right to medically hastened heath, but no right to quality palliative care.
Will the cost of senior care in Canada one day break the bank? Probably not, contrary to common perceptions.