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Examining The Policy To Practice Within Palliative Care Unit

1163 words - 5 pages

Health and health care are the dominant public policy concerns of most people in Canada. London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) is one of Canada’s largest acute-care teaching hospitals that serve the people of London, the region, and beyond. Its mandate is to serve as an academic hospital, committed to improving health and delivering value for citizens of London, the South West Region and beyond. Building on their tradition of leadership, stewardship and partnership, they champion patient-centred care, with a spirit of inquiry and discovery, and a commitment to life-long learning.
This essay will particularly focus on examining the policy to practice within palliative care unit based on my placement experience. The term Palliative Care refers to professionals working as a team in providing support to service users who are struggling with life limiting illnesses. This team of interdisciplinary professionals consists of physicians, nurses, social workers, physiotherapist, dieticians spiritual care specialists, and others. In helping the service users have a comfortable and peaceful ending the team concentrates on the relief of suffering by managing the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs of the service users and their loved ones. It’s also worth noting that, many times, when an individual is diagnosed with a life threatening disease one can end up having a hard time finding meaning and purpose in life. Therefore, Palliative Care service providers assist the service users and their loved ones address concerns, anticipations, wishes, hopes and worries. We know that when individuals are receiving palliative care many do experience an improved quality of life and decreased anxiety as soon as symptoms have remained under control. Therefore, maintaining a person’s comfort and self-worth is the foremost emphasis of Palliative Care with the focus on pain and symptom management rather than curing an illness.
In this case, the legislative act linked to the provision of palliative care at London Health Sciences Centre is the “Substitute Decisions Act” that was approved by the Ontario Legislature in December 1992 after many years of revisions and consultation with the public. The law came into force on April 3, 1995. Amendments to the law came into force on March 29, 1996, upon declaration of the Advocacy, Consent and Substitute Decisions Statute Law Amendments Act in 1995, which eliminated the Advocacy Act, made modifications to the Substitute Decisions Act, and substituted the Consent to Treatment Act with the Health Care Consent Act. This shows that, the Substitute Decisions Act generates the legal standards defining when an individual has the capacity to make decisions that are significant to his/her welfare. However, there are diverse tests for capacity that vary relying on the type of decisions that must be made. In some cases capacity will exist for people who do not have full capacity in terms of common sense comprehending of their...

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