Hospitals taking over end-of-life care unsuccessfully

A panel of clinicians said end-of-life care had changed dramatically over a generation to the extent that most people died in hospital, rather than at home or in community-based care.

Dr Peter Saul, director of intensive care at Newcastle Private Hospital, said 60% of Australians now died in acute hospital care even though it was expensive with little additional benefit.

“The ‘heroic battle’ is a very expensive process. Acute care manages end-of-life very badly. Decisions are saved until the very last minute.”

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