Canadian Virtual Hospice | Portail palliatif canadien
ENEWS -- March 2015
  SPOTLIGHT ON
PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada lifted the prohibition on physician-assisted dying. While debate on the issue continues, there is consensus that the country needs expanded palliative care services. It is now up to policy makers to grapple with how new laws will be implemented. This edition of eNews features new articles that shed light on the important issues.
FOR EVERYONE
EXPLAINING PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA
Palliative care physician Dr. Romayne Gallagher has written two important new articles that can help people understand these forms of deliberately hastened death. The article Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: Introduction describes what these terms mean. The companion article, Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: The Issues, outlines major points of debate.
 
FOR PROFESSIONALS
WHAT HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE AND EUTHANASIA
Dr. Romayne Gallagher also has a new article in The Exchange called  What Health Care Professionals Need to Know about Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia. The article addresses the seven major questions many professionals will face with physician assisted suicide.
 
FOR EVERYONE
END-OF-LIFE REALITIES AND THE SUPREME COURT OF CANADA
Several newspapers in Canada, including The Toronto Star has published a commentary by Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov on the Supreme Court of Canada ruling on physician-assisted suicide. Dr. Chochinov vividly describes how unprepared most physicians are to care for people at the end of life. He explains why new laws alone will not prevent people dying badly, and that we need better palliative care to offer Canadians real choices at the end of life.
 
FOR PROFESSIONALS
NEW ASKED AND ANSWERED: MORAL DISTRESS
What is moral distress?  Read our answer.
 
FOR EVERYONE
RESOURCES AND TOOLS ON PHYSICIAN-ASSISTED SUICIDE
 
NEW ON VIRTUAL HOSPICE


FOR EVERYONE
MALIGNANT WOUNDS
A new article by clinical nurse specialist Sarah Brown on Malignant Wounds offers information about wounds produced by cancer, and suggested ways to care for them. Our thanks to wounds expert Dr. Vincent Maida for reviewing this article.
 
FOR EVERYONE
WILD DARKNESS
Alaska-based wildlife research and writer reflects on the annual death of salmon in rivers and the recurrence of her cancer. She writes clearly and powerfully about how the Wild Darkness of nature can teach us how to die.
  
FOR PROFESSIONALS
A NEW PAIN MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE
Researchers Dr. Marie-Claude Grégoire and Michael Sangster have a poster on The Exchange called Reflecting on Novel Approaches to Pain Management: A Case of Successful Use of Mirror Therapy, on using a mirror to reduce acute, constant nerve pain due to cancer.
  

FOR PROFESSIONALS
DYING AND AFTER-DEATH CARE AT HOME
Clinical counsellor Sue Muirhead has an article in The Exchange on a personal and professional path toward death midwifery - supporting dying and death among family and friends - influenced by her experiences with a BC First Nation.
 

FOR PROFESSIONALS
A RESOURCE LIBRARY FOR HOSPICES
This new guide from Anna Henshaw and the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County can help hospices develop their own resource libraries.
 
  
NEWS


STUDY OF PAIN TREATMENT AND SUICIDAL THOUGHTS
Dr. Keith Wilson, a clinical psychologist at The Ottawa Hospital, is an investigator in a new study showing  that treatment of chronic pain can reduce thoughts of suicide. Dr. Wilson is a member of the Peer Review Committee for The Exchange on Virtual Hospice.
 
VIRTUAL HOSPICE FEATURED IN LEADING PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY TEXT
The world’s leading textbook on psychosocial oncology now includes a chapter called “Canadian Virtual Hospice: A Template for Online Communications and Support.” The chapter appears in the latest edition of Oxford University Press’s Psycho-Oncology.
 
ONTARIO AUDITOR GENERAL OUTLINES COSTS SAVINGS OF PALLIATIVE CARE
The latest report from Ontario's Auditor General includes a chapter on palliative care. It notes: "Although most people would prefer to die at home, most die in hospital. Aside from the compassionate aspect of this, caring for terminally ill patients in an acute-care hospital is estimated to cost over 40% more than providing care in a hospital-based palliative-care unit. This is more than double the cost of providing care in a hospice bed and over 10 times more than providing at home care."
 

END-OF-LIFE CARE IN FIRST NATION COMMUNITIES

Dr. Mary Lou Kelley and her research team from Lakehead University, in partnership with the Naotkamegwanning, Fort William and Peguis First Nations, and Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, have developed guidelines and recommendations for developing palliative and end-of-life care in First Nation communities. This project was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
 
ORDER OF CANADA FOR PALLIATIVE CARE LEADER
Kappy Flanders, Co-chair of the Council on Palliative Care has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. Governor General David Johnston made the appointment to recognize "her commitment to the causes of palliative care and public education, as well as for her extensive civic engagement." Ms. Flanders has been a driving force behind the International Congress on Palliative Care, based in Montreal, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014.
 
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY - LATE LIFE ISSUES
The Institute of Aging at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is following up recommendations from stakeholder consultations, and looking for projects to support in the area of late-life issues. The application deadline is April 13. Details here.
 

CALL FOR PROPOSALS - TWO TVN FUNDING COMPETITIONS
The Technology Evaluation in the Elderly Network is looking currently to fund two types of projects that may help measure the degree of frailty in elderly people. One type will focus on knowledge synthesis. The other will assess implementation. Details on the project page on the TVN site. The proposal deadline is March 23.
 

FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR PALLIATIVE HOMECARE RESEARCH
A large project led by Richard Sawatzky of Trinity Western University has received a Catalyst Grant by TVN. The project, called "Integrating a quality of life assessment and practice support system in palliative homecare", will research palliative home care needs. The research team includes more than a dozen partners across Canada, including Canadian Virtual Hospice.
 
VIRTUAL HOSPICE IPAD WINNER
Darlene Anganis has won the 2014 Virtual Hospice draw for an iPad. Darlene is the Director of Health in Membertou, Nova Scotia. She entered the draw at the First Nations Health Managers Association Conference in Vancouver last fall. Congratulations Darlene!
 
 
CALENDAR


April 19-21, 2015, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario 2015 Annual Conference, Toronto, Ontario.

April 22-24, 2015, Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology 2015 Annual Conference, Montréal, Québec.

April 25-28, 2015, Canadian Conference of Medical Education, Vancouver, British Columbia.

May 13-14, 2015, Saskatchewan Hospice Palliative Care Association Conference, Regina, Saskatchewan.  Brenda Hearson of Virtual Hospice will be speaking at the conference and looks forward to seeing you at the booth.

May 28-30, 2015, New Frontiers of Palliative Medicine Conference, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, Calgary, Alberta.

June 3-5, 2015, Dignity Therapy Workshop by Dr. Harvey Max Chochinov, hosted by the Manitoba Palliative Care Research Unit.

June 22-24, 2015, Conference of Community Health Nurses of Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
 
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