How We Die: A View from Palliative Care

  • Michael Ashby Director of Palliative Care, Royal Hobart Hospital and Southern Tasmania Health Organisation (THO)


There is an ongoing global conversation about dying, particularly with regard to treatment abatement decisions, causation and responsibility for death, and relief of physical and existential suffering. There is rising international support for assisted dying. People now tend to die slowly in old age, as a result of multiple chronic illnesses, with more medical decision points and impaired cognitive capacity. This paper describes the dying process from the standpoint of palliative medicine and argues for an improved common recognition of the process of dying, in its contemporary spiritual and social contexts, by the public, medicine, ethics, public policy and the law.

Mar 11, 2016
How to Cite
ASHBY, Michael. How We Die: A View from Palliative Care. QUT Law Review, [S.l.], v. 16, n. 1, p. 5-21, mar. 2016. ISSN 2201-7275. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 feb. 2021. doi:


palliative medicine
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