Euthanasia Prevention—What Family Caregivers Should Consider

January 8, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Dr. Will Johnston has practiced family medicine for over 30 years. He’s Chair of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition of BC, www.epcbc.ca, . He describes his career and experience with family caregiving, and what led him to euthanasia prevention. He discusses the Coalition’s work and his work as Chair. He explains euthanasia and why what it implies needs to be discussed. He says what he sees as the most influential attitudes in society. He explains ‘state-sponsored suicide’, and why family caregivers should be aware of its implications. He advises family caregivers how to interpret physicians’ predictions for particular end-of-life conditions. He discusses decisions to let nature take its course in end-of-life circumstances. He says what more he would like to do and see done to help family caregivers caring for family members in end-of-life circumstances, and shares his message for family caregivers and mental healthcare and social-services professionals about end-of-life circumstances.

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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