Most older adults want to have a good life, and many desire to also have a "good death". That term can mean many different things to different people.  

For some it may represent having some control over the living and the dying process. It may reflect concerns about loss of autonomy in personal and health decisions, increasing disability or pain in the end of life.  Some worry about the "quality of their life" in contrast to the remaining quantity of their life. Others may focus on avoiding "being a burden" to family or friends.

End of life represents some of the most challenging areas of  laws and ethics. But who controls it, when and on what basis?


Palliative care addresses the physical and psychological aspects of end of life. It involves:

Palliative care may offered through a formal palliative care program or through a variety of other avenues. The focus of the care is on achieving comfort and respect for the person nearing death and maximizing quality of life for the patient, family and loved ones.

National Action Planning Workshop on End-of-life Care Health Canada Secretariat on Palliative and End-of-life Care.  PDF 1.4 MB

Description: This is the Workshop Report from March 2002 conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Prepared by  Strachanï Tomlinson




 A Death in Your Family. Public Legal Education BC  (2007).

Description: Explains the practical and legal steps that family members face in the immediate aftermath of the death of a loved one. Explains about death at home, when there may be an autopsy, body donation program, funeral costs and more.



Other Helpful Readings

 AOA’s Position Against Use of Placebos for Pain Management in End-of-Life Care.  (2005)  By K. J. Nichols,  K. E. Galluzzi,  B. Bates,  et al. for the American Osteopathic Association End-of-Life Care Committee