Volume 24, Number 4, April 2023 Supplement - Section II: Opinions


A person-centered approach helps alleviate the suffering that causes patients to request euthanasia.

Eve Namisango
Research Manager & research scientist, African Palliative Care Association; end-of-life educator, Research Methodology, Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, Uganda; and Fellow, Cicely Saunders Institute King's College London, UK

In my experience, patients usually request euthanasia in order to end their suffering. For this reason, quality person-centered palliative care should be available to all those in need. I would like to emphasize the aspects of quality and person-centeredness of palliative care because if these are not given attention, it feeds the argument that palliative care is unable to alleviate all suffering. Using a person-centered approach, we are able to understand and meet the needs of suffering patients more efficiently. Euthanasia and other forms of assisted dying practices should not be promoted as a substitute for our failure or inability to deliver the quality person-centered care that patients need. Palliative care should be pro-life, underpinned by dignity.

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