How does Europe address end-of-life issues?

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Barbara Coombs Lee
Hospice Nursing
The European Charter of Patients’ Rights states: “Each individual has the right to avoid as much suffering and pain as possible, in each phase of his or her illness. The health services must commit themselves to taking all measures useful to this end, like providing palliative care treatment and simplifying patients’ access to them.” Policies restricting opioid availability and causing patients to suffer unnecessary pain abridge the human right to be free of torture.
 
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has stated, “Every competent patient … should be given the opportunity to refuse treatment or any other medical intervention. Any derogation from this fundamental principle should be based upon law and only relate to clearly and strictly defined exceptional circumstances.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.