FACT: WA has a first-class standard of palliative care, which includes high-quality community care in metropolitan Perth provided by Silver Chain. Silver Chain does not oppose voluntary assisted dying.
There is no doubt the palliative care sector’s dedicated professionals are committed and dedicated to their patients.
Australia has a first-class standard of palliative care, second only to the United Kingdom in world rankings, and while WA’s geography does cause serious challenges in our regional and remote areas, WA generally has an excellent standard of palliative care.
In WA’s the State Government funds a service to provide community-based specialist palliative care at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. The home and community palliative care model is currently delivered by Silver Chain in the metropolitan area. Silver Chain is a hospital-level accredited service.
Silver Chain provided a submission to the End of Life Choices cross-party Parliamentary Committee in October 2017. In their evidence, Dr Christopher H McGowan (CEO of Silver Chain) states:
“Silver Chain acknowledges that even with increased access to palliative care services, there may still be exceptional instances where individuals do not experience an adequate alleviation of their suffering, and may choose to consider assisted dying.”
“The organisation is committed to supporting patient choice, and recognises assisted dying as a legitimate option for those nearing end of life where supporting legislation exists. Therefore, Silver Chain would offer its end of life care and support to all individuals, as well as providing bereavement services to their families and carers, regardless of how they may choose to live out their last days of life. Silver Chain will continue to strongly advocate for access to quality palliative care for all people nearing the end of their life, again irrespective of their position on assisted dying.”