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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Sick take palliative care over treatment

Date posted: 30 July 2012

A senate inquiry has heard that a shortage of renal dialysis services is pushing sick Aborigines from remote communities to choose palliative care over treatment. With many central Australian residents forced to travel to Alice Springs to seek medical help for kidney failure, some were leaving it too late or simply choosing to die at home rather than face distances of up to 1000km and time away from family.

'You are faced with a choice of long-term dialysis in Alice Springs, and under that scenario (some) people choose to die at home,' Dr Boffa told a hearing yesterday in Alice Springs of the senate inquiry into palliative care.

The inquiry was also told 'assumptions' were sometimes made about people's desire for palliative care based on their behaviour when, if asked, they would prefer treatment. 'There should be some significant checks and balances before an end-stage renal patient is accepted into palliative care,' Dr Boffa said.

Source: The Australian


Last updated: 1 August 2012
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