Thematic Approach

End-of-Life Issues

Under review

IMPORTANT: End-of-life care is a topic of social debate at the moment, to which the Collège is contributing, and may soon lead to legislative changes. This section will be revised at some point to take any new developments into account.

The principles underlying consent and respect for professional secrecy apply in a particular way to end-of-life situations. The prospect of imminent death or incurable illness unleashes predictable reactions that are well described in the medical literature: denial, escape, compassion, mourning and reconciliation. In this stage of life, the dilemmas physicians and patients face are increased.

This section addresses many end-of-life issues on which there is little unanimity; these will be illustrated by clinical cases:

The subject of organ donation is an end-of-life issue and will be addressed in this section at some point.

As these problems frequently occur in facilities dedicated to long-term care, it may be useful to consult the guide produced by the Collège on medical practice in long-term care centers.