The importance of talking about advance care planning
AMA President, Professor Brian Owler, spoke with radio 2UE this week about the importance of patients talking with their families and doctors about advance care planning, following an important discussion that took place at Westmead Hospital last week focused on geriatric medicine and how to treat ailing and ageing patients.
Doctors, particularly GPs, play an important role in supporting patients, in a culturally appropriate manner, to discuss death and dying and to make an advance care plan. They can provide information about the clinical aspects of care, and help answer any questions, including those related to palliative care.
The planning process respects the patient's right to take an active role in their health care in an environment of shared decision-making between the patient and their doctor. Such planning can reduce the strain on individuals and loved ones at what is often a hugely stressful and upsetting time.
AMA Position Statement: End of Life Care and Advance Care Planning 2014
Information and resources for GPs are available on the Palliative Care Australia website.