Our healthcare system remains focused on acute – emergency — care and the “therapeutic imperative” to fix everything we can fix when a patient is ill. But when someone is approaching the end of life, this approach may no longer be what the patient and their families need or want most.
Almost a year has passed since an important report was released on ways Canada needs to improve medicines for children. The report was commissioned by Health Canada and undertaken by the Council of Canadian Academies after many alarms were sounded by experts in the community.
The development of new therapies has provided our health care system with enormous advances, such as insulin for diabetes, antibiotics for infections or chemotherapy for many cancers. Yet these therapies may also cause potential harm, even death, so the benefits have to be carefully weighed against the risks.
Those living in a regulated nursing home are likely in the frailest condition of their lives, and approaching the end of life. The individual reasons for entering a nursing home are many, but commonly, residents require intense personal care for an indefinite period of time.