HPCO's purpose, vision and mission

We have expanded the purpose, vision and mission statements on our about us page. Visit this page for a wealth information on who we are, what we do, and how we do it. Our purpose is to strive for a future where every person in Ontario has access to quality hospice palliative care. Our vision is to be the unified voice of collaborative, quality hospice palliative care in Ontario. We envision a future where every person and family in the province of Ontario can quickly and easily access the finest standard of Continue reading →

End-of-life decisions Canadians face go beyond assisted suicide debate

When CBC producer Lynn Burgess started working on a documentary series on assisted suicide for The National six months ago, she “sensed a profound public fatigue with the right-to-die issue in Canada.” It was clear to Burgess that there was a greater need to focus the camera on Canadians and the broader end-of-life decisions they face. The series, entitled “Last Right” and beginning its nationwide run tonight, is intended to broaden the national conversation beyond the right-to-die debate. Burgess believes that “what we’re hearing this week from Continue reading →

Large majority of Canadians now open to discussing end-of-life care

More than 80% of Canadians say they’re comfortable talking about end-of-life care issues, according to an Environics Research survey commissioned by Saint Elizabeth Health Care. “The survey shows 34 per cent of respondents say they’re ‘very comfortable’ discussing these issues,” Saint Elizabeth noted in a press release this morning, “while a further 47 per cent are ‘somewhat comfortable’. Only three per cent say they’re not at all comfortable.” The survey also shows that only one quarter of Canadians over the age of 30 have made Continue reading →

Supreme Court rules consent required before ending care

The Supreme Court of Canada has dismissed an appeal by doctors at a Toronto hospital who sought to withdraw treatment from Hassan Rasouli, a severely brain-damaged patient who they say has no hope of recovery. Mr. Rasouli has been in a persistent vegetative state and ventilator dependent since October 2010. After an extensive internal review and discussion with the family, the hospital made the decision that CPR and intensive life support was not the standard of care for patients with this diagnosis, as no prolonged medical Continue reading →

Dr. Larry Librach shares his thoughts about life and death on "W5"

“People want to be at home, to have a choice in the setting where they’re going to die,” our friend and colleague Dr. Larry Librach told W5 in an interview that aired this weekend. “They want to have some independence around decision making. And I think we want to be free of pain and symptoms as much as possible.” Larry Librach chose to share his final weeks and days with W5. Click the link above to watch the interview, in which Dr. Librach shared his Continue reading →

British Columbia Court of Appeal upholds ban on assisted suicide

In a split two-to-one decision yesterday, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled to uphold Canada’s ban on physician-assisted suicide. The federal government had previously appealed the landmark ruling of Carter v. Canada, which stated that voluntary euthanasia should be allowed under strict conditions. The British Columbia Supreme Court ruled last year that prohibiting assisted suicide violated the Charter rights of gravely ill Canadians. “These are complex issues that involve real people and real emotional situations,” said Hugh Scher, the legal counsel for the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition. Continue reading →

Let’s talk about dying in Canada

What will I want or need at the end of life? Will I suffer pain and need medication to manage my symptoms? How can I let my family and friends know my wishes and preferences for end-of-life care? What help is available to me? Will I suffer from a chronic illness and feel like a burden to others? What decisions will I have to make? Many Canadians find themselves asking these questions as they near end-of-life. They are unsure what to expect, leading them to ask how they want to Continue reading →

Ask your town or city council to call for greater hospice palliative care!

Three weeks ago, we announced that the Peel Regional Council had passed a resolution highlighting the need for additional resources for palliative care within their communities. We are grateful for the council’s acknowledgement of the role of the hospice palliative care sector in providing access to the services Ontarians need, and of the work done with the provincial government by HPCO and the QHPCCO to inform policy and best practices. We hope you will join us in thanking the council, who called for more funding an support required to advance hospice palliative Continue reading →

Free resources for family caregivers

This is a reminder that Hospice Palliative Care Ontario is proud to provide family caregivers with complementary copies of two valuable resources: A Caregiver’s Guide, produced by the Order of St. Lazarus, and A Guide to Advance Care Planning, which is available through the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat. You can request single copies of either/both of these guides by contacting Helen Reilly at hreilly@hpco.ca. Shipping is free of charge within Canada. If you wish to order multiple copies, please contact the organizations listed above. If you Continue reading →