Promoting a Flourishing Society

Death is Natural: Reframing the End-of-Life Conversation in Canada

April 28, 2015

This inaugural Cardus Health report builds on the 2011 parliamentary report "Not to be Forgotten: Care of Vulnerable Canadians." Many recommendations have been published by many organizations since 2011, and this report evaluates these proposals while looking through three lenses:

1. Natural Death: We need to build a social system that supports the desire of Canadians for a natural death, which we understand to mean dying of natural causes in our natural environment surrounded by our natural caregivers.

2. Social Architecture: We need to think of this system in terms of more than health, recognizing that not only the patient but also the natural caregivers need to be the focus of support, and thus the full range of social institutions best equipped for natural deaths need to be made more available to more Canadians.

3. Continuum of Care: We need to think of the delivery of care not as a series of alternatives to be chosen between, but rather as a continuum of care in which there is a seamless continuity of end-of-life care supports and settings as our fellow Canadians and their loved ones travel the journey through to the end of their natural lives.

Cardus aims to build on the good work done by the 2011 Parliamentary Committee and the hundreds of good organizations in this field, toward the common goal of bringing the best care to some of the most vulnerable among us.

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Topics: Health