Raise awareness of alternatives in end-of-life care

I agree with Mr Francis Cheng that aggressive intervention in a terminally-ill patient's last days only serves to increase his suffering (End-of-life care - Important to know your loved ones' wishes; May 30).

Many Singaporeans may not be aware of good alternatives like hospices, which offer patients the best possible quality of life in their last days.

Most people have the misconception of such services as "abandoning" their loved one to die in a "miserable place".

But when my mother was admitted to Dover Park hospice, I was surprised to see that it offered a very comfortable and serene environment where she could spend her last days with dignity, minimal suffering and a fairly good quality of life.

Unlike being at home, a team of doctors and nurses was nearby to handle any emergency or offer medical intervention such as pain relief or breathing aid, if necessary.

As we face an ageing population, it is time that we understand that facilities like hospices offer an important complement to hospitals and a good alternative place to care for patients in their last days.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2017, with the headline 'Raise awareness of alternatives in end-of-life care'. Print Edition | Subscribe