May 22, 2024

Traditional Aborigines fear death in hospitals

Many Australian Aborigines living in a traditional lifestyle end their days in city hospitals, lonely, confused and afraid of euthanasia, a researcher claims. Dr Pam McGrath, of Central Queensland University, says that palliative care facilities should be established in rural areas so that Aborigines can die at home with their families.

Aborigines from the Outback often do not have a good command of English and do not understand many basic medical procedures, such as taking blood. “Some have a fear that palliative care is associated with euthanasia. They think morphine is about ending life, not resolving pain,” says Dr McGrath. “Then they worry that they will die without being able to pass their wisdom on, which is a very important part of end-of-life for indigenous peoples.”