Search results: Cairns

  • Issue 40 / 19 October 2015
    Will Cairns: Care we deserve

    AUSTRALIA’S most popular politician, NSW Premier Mike Baird has been grappling with the dilemma of how to pay for health care. He penned an opinion article in The Australian suggesting that raising the GST to 15% would pay for health care, saying “all funds raised would be directed…


  • Issue 28 / 27 July 2015
    Will Cairns: Age-old burdens

    AT a recent palliative care meeting discussing morbidity and mortality, we realised that for many of our patients there is simply not enough room in the “other significant conditions” section of the death certificate to list all their diseases.This observation fed into my thoughts about…


  • Issue 6 / 23 February 2015
    Will Cairns: Living to 150

    HUMAN life expectancy will increase to 150 years within this century. Really?When I was a GP I used to visit my frail elderly nursing home patients in my lunch break. Frequently I found them fast asleep in front of Days of Our Lives. This gave me pause for thought about how we live out our final years.In…


  • Issue 7 / 3 March 2014
    Will Cairns: Normalising death

    PERHAPS it’s my age, but I seem to have been to more than the usual number of funerals lately, and there have been others for relatives and lifetime family friends that were too far away to attend.Many of the words I heard at the various commemorative ceremonies had the intent of validating the…


  • Issue 47 / 9 December 2013
    Will Cairns: Hard choices

    FEW doctors would think we can afford to provide all treatments that have been invented — let alone those still to be invented — for everyone who might benefit.By “all treatments” I don’t mean those of uncertain or dubious benefit, but only those that can be shown to deliver…


  • Issue 39 / 14 October 2013
    Will Cairns: Fear of dying

    NOT long ago, I was asked to see a woman in her early 50s who had been diagnosed with advanced and incurable lung cancer.She had been offered chemotherapy that might have prolonged her life for a time, perhaps even a year. This treatment would probably have caused her some unpleasant side effects and…


  • Issue 33 / 2 September 2013
    Will Cairns: A natural end

    MANY years ago when I was starting out in palliative medicine, I went with an oncologist to visit a youngish woman who was rapidly deteriorating as a consequence of her advanced cancer.I saw a clear but quickly masked flash of horror cross the face of her husband when the patient said she would be willing…


  • Issue 3 / 4 February 2013
    Will Cairns: Don't plug me in

    “Daddy used to say that if he get so old so that he couldn’t drink beer and catch catfish then I had to put him in a boat and set him on fire, so that no-one could come and plug him in the wall.” from the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild I HAVE talked about death with thousands of people over…