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11th December 2019

Palliative Care WA put out a media release in response to the voluntary assisted dying legislation passed by WA Parliament.

Media Release

Equitable access across the State to quality palliative care services is fundamental to providing all Western Australians with the best possible death.

CEO Ms Lana Glogowski said “while noting the landmark voluntary assisted dying legislation that was passed by WA Parliament yesterday, we remind Government that increasing access to palliative care across the community must be the priority. Whether people choose voluntary assisted dying or not, they still need access to quality palliative care.  Whatever their end of life choices may be, all Western Australians have the right to die well.”

“Whilst recognising the significance of this new legislation to end of life choices for Western Australians, we emphasise the importance of educating our community about the difference between palliative care and voluntary assisted dying.  Early access to palliative care improves the quality of life for people with a life-limiting illness.   Palliative care professionals are experts at pain and symptom management and provide emotional and spiritual support as well as guiding family and friends through what is a very difficult time.”

“We welcomed announcements earlier this year on increased funding for palliative care but remind Government that more consideration is required to address the palliative care needs of specific groups, such as those experiencing cognitive decline i.e. Alzheimer’s, those with mental health issues, people with disabilities and those from Aboriginal as well as culturally diverse communities.  We also recognise the critical importance of activating community support of those with chronic disease or life-limiting illness utilising a compassionate communities approach.”

Palliative Care WA will continue to focus on encouraging all community members to have conversations about what matters to them for the last stage of life and embrace Advance Care Planning processes, as well as work with Government and other providers to improve accessibility to quality palliative care for all Western Australians.