Being a safe place: a qualitative study exploring perceptions as to how a rural community hospice could respond to enactment of voluntary assisted dying legislation

Kirsten Auret, Terri Pikora, Kate Gersbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: There is a lack of research to guide the implementation of voluntary assisted dying legislation within a hospice setting. Furthermore, there is limited published information related to the expectations of the community and staff to assist decision making regarding voluntary assisted dying in a community hospice. The aim of this study was to explore the expectations of staff, volunteers and members of the community as how a rural Australian community hospice could respond in relation to imminent enactment of Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation. Methods: A total of 63 Hospice staff and volunteers and community members participated in 11 workshops. This qualitative study used the interpretive description method to analyse the workshop transcripts. Results: While there was not a consensus view on community expectation, there was agreement among the participants for respect for a patient’s individuality and choices. Furthermore, care offered in hospice needs to remain non-judgemental and patient focused regardless of whether voluntary assisted dying policy was implemented or not. Both opportunities and risks associated with implementation were identified by the participants. Conclusion: There was common ground around the respect for the dying person and the ideal of a “safe place” despite opposing views on what this may mean in practice. There is a need for clarity in organisational responses around policy, risk management, education, and staff support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalBMC Palliative Care
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

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