The Making of a Myth: Unreliable Data on Access to Palliative Care in Canada

Health Law Review, Forthcoming

4 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2014 Last revised: 8 Oct 2015

See all articles by Jocelyn Downie

Jocelyn Downie

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine

Georgia Lloyd-Smith

Independent

Date Written: June 30, 2014

Abstract

Assisted death is now the subject of conversation in the media, in public meetings, and around kitchen tables across the country. A frequent part of many conversations about assisted death law reform is access to quality palliative care in Canada. Throughout the literature and other forms of media, the claim is made that only 16-30% of Canadians have access to palliative care (or, its derivative, 70% are without access). The “16-30%” claim has been widely accepted as a fact. But is it, in fact, true? We are driven to the conclusion that the oft-repeated claim that only 16-30% of Canadians have access to palliative care should be retired. It is based on a misrepresentation of outdated data and it ignores the provision of palliative care outside of the acute care hospital setting.

Keywords: Canada, palliative care, assisted dying, empirical data

Suggested Citation

Downie, Jocelyn and Lloyd-Smith, Georgia, The Making of a Myth: Unreliable Data on Access to Palliative Care in Canada (June 30, 2014). Health Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460886

Jocelyn Downie (Contact Author)

Schulich School of Law & Faculty of Medicine ( email )

Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4H9
Canada

Georgia Lloyd-Smith

Independent ( email )

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