Barry Ashpole Media Watch #497

Barry Ashpole Media Watch

The latest issue of Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada) can now be downloaded here. More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET

Articles from Asia Pacific regions:

Access to psychologists in aged care is an “urgent priority,” Councils on the Ageing tells minister

AUSTRALIA | Australian Ageing Agenda – 24 January 2017 – Council on the Ageing Australia is calling on the new health minister Greg Hunt to allow nursing home residents the same access to mental health services as everyone else. The Australian Psychological Society last week called on the government to allow residents to access the Better Access initiative, which provides 10 subsidised sessions with a psychologist through Medicare. Given the high incidence of depression and other mental health conditions suffered by residents of aged care facilities there is clearly a problem that needs to be urgently addressed, COTA chief Ian Yates said. “A person receiving a high level home care package in their own home can make use of the Better Access program. Yet people living in an aged care home around the corner cannot.” https://goo.gl/6X8bjD

Managing ethical dilemmas in end-stage neurodegenerative diseases

GERIATRICS | Online – 20 January 2017 – This article discusses the many ethical and moral dilemmas faced by the clinician and family members as they care for patients with neurodegenerative illnesses approaching the end of life. Topics discussed include steps on how to assess mental capacity and decisionmaking capability, advance care planning, withholding and/or withdrawing treatment, food refusal, the donot-resuscitate order, and euthanasia. An approach to ethical decision-making incorporating Jonsen’s 4- topic approach is also be discussed briefly. https://goo.gl/WBBmeE

Care at the Very End-of-Life: Dying Cancer Patients and Their Chosen Family’s Needs

CANCER | Online – 24 January 2017 – This non-systematic review’s aims are to summarise the symptoms most feared by people imminently facing death which is defined as the terminal phase of life, where death is imminent and likely to occur within hours to days or, very occasionally, weeks. Further, this paper explores the incidence and management of problems that may affect the dying person which are most feared by their family. https://goo.gl/sJ0NfA

International news:

Oncologists could improve prognosis communication: Study

COLORADO | United Press International – 24 January 2017 – Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that accurate prognosis of incurable cancer is vital to end-of-life decision making. The study looked at 64 doctor-patient conversations regarding cancer prognosis at four major academic medical centers and found that both patients and doctors tend to avoid end-of-life discussions regarding terminal cancer diagnosis. Researchers found that just 10 percent of the conversations were about scan results, and there were only four instances where oncologists discussed prognosis with patients. https://goo.gl/4OaCnv

Wyoming Senate approves palliative care

WYOMING | KGAB Radio News (Cheyenne) – 24 January 2017 – The Wyoming Senate on Tuesday approved a bill creating a palliative care council for the state. The bill would create a volunteer council to advise the state on palliative care issues, including care for those in state institutions who may be suffering from terminal illness. While the council would be composed of volunteers, Scott says his bill does allow the governor to compensate council members for mileage and with a per diem if the money is available. https://goo.gl/lVhk0z

Specialist Publications:

Palliative care in humanitarian medicine

PALLIATIVE MEDICINE | Online – 23 January 2017 – Palliative care interventions have historically been neglected in the practice of humanitarian medicine. This may come as a surprise, since it is a sombre reality that medical practitioners are frequently witness to death and dying in their response to humanitarian crises. The exceptionally high mortality rates associated with the West African Ebola outbreak have prompted further reflection on the role of palliative care in humanitarian crises. A similar trend was seen during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the late 1990s, as health actors were faced with the need to focus on palliative care in the absence of affordable anti-retroviral treatment (ART). https://goo.gl/Yxb8uB

Compassionate Communities and Their Role in End-of-Life Care

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA JOURNAL OF MEDICINE | Online – Accessed 28 January 2017 – Death is a universal experience that has often been underrepresented in discussion between loved ones and the healthcare system. Development of Compassionate Communities promotes quality end-of-life care designed to meet the individualized needs of the dying as well as their caregivers. Creating Communities of Practice focused on implementing the values of Compassionate Communities would promote a fertile environment for community-based end-of-life care that sees each person as unique and adapts to meet the needs of both patients and caregivers, thereby reducing individual burden and burnout, and improving the experience for all. https://goo.gl/rrqQDj

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