Death with dignity isn’t about euthanasia, says palliative care expert

Less than a third of the 250,000 Canadians who die each year have access to good palliative care, says Dr. Harvey Chochinov, a Winnipeg-based researcher on end-of-life treatment.

“There have been several special Senate reports on death and dying in Canada and the best estimates we have are that somewhere between 15 and 30 per cent of Canadians near the end of life will have access to quality, comprehensive palliative care, which is a rather shocking disclosure,” Chochinov said in a telephone interview Friday.

While palliative care — in which patients are kept comfortable, clean and pain free — is a growing part of the public conversation about death, Chochinov says Canada lacks national guidelines for the humane treatment of a dying person.

Erin Ellis Reports

Click here to read the full story