Language of dying

29. Jul, 2015

the language we use around dying and palliative care requires consideration be change. Death is as natural, or should be, as birth. BUT it has been medicalised and too often seen as a failure. We talk about 'giving  up', no hope and withdrawing is the latter I want to challenge in particular. Withdrawing treatment refers to intrusive medical interventions as if that is all that matters. In fact we never withdraw treatment until death. We provide appropriate treatment. This often includes pain management, spiritual support, counselling, physical comfort measures, family support, environmental support and the list goes on.

Suggesting we withdraw treatment can increase family fear and grief. Let's stop medicalising and call it what it is: providing appropriate treatment.