144462 - AJGP Clinical Challenge November 2018: Palliative care
The end of a patient’s life is a significant time for everyone involved in their care. End-of-life care is an important part of a general practitioner’s (GP’s) workload, and this is likely to increase significantly as people live longer and have more complex health needs. Studies have found that Australians are not dying in ways that they wish; while most people note that they wish to die at home, this is the case for only 14% of patients. At present, most deaths these days are due to chronic diseases and, in many cases, planning around the patient’s wishes is possible. This requires the GP to proactively communicate and discuss end-of-life care, especially advance care planning, with their patients. Patients expect their doctors to commence this conversation. It is important, therefore, for GPs to have the confidence to initiate discussions about end-of-life care.
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