There are some topics that need to be discussed but we just don't. Advance Care Planning, Palliative Care and Physician Assisted Dying frequently make the news headlines like some distant third party events but personal discussions are avoided like sex and politics at the family level. Too personal, too confusing, too many unknowns, too emotional?
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) will get us talking by hosting a discussion on health care at the end of life through a series of live town hall meetings across Canada. Discussions will also be live-streamed and augmented by on-line discussion boards.
According to research performed by Harris/Decima in a Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association survey, 80% of Canadians believe that these serious conversations should begin when we are healthy or at an early stage of diagnosis of a life limiting illness. Nevertheless, most of us don't have the conversation and even fewer put our wishes in writing.
Of course, live streaming and on-line discussion boards will improve accessibility and increase the audience size but maybe not for the over 70 crowd. Not complaining, Just saying....
The town hall meetings are open to the public and will address the "terminology and nuances in this complex and emotional area". The meetings will also gather input from the public and CMA members with hopes that the information will help guide the CMA in its future policies and initiatives.
Public groups and individuals are encouraged to participate at no charge in person at the various regional forums from 7 PM to 9 PM. Due to limited space you must register in advance.
The public town halls will be held in:
Vancouver - March 24
900 Canada Place Way
register at: https://www.regonline.com/EOLCareVan
Whitehorse - April 16
Yukon Arts Centre
300 College Drive
register at: https://www.regonline.com/EOLCareWH
Regina - May 7
Queensbury Convention Centre
1700 Elphinstone Street
register at: https://www.regonline.com/EOLCareReg
Mississauga- May 27
The International Centre
6900 Airport Road
register at: https://www.regonline.com/EOLCareGTA
This should be interesting. Emotion, medical science, economics/affordability and religion all in the same room at the same time.