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Keywords:

  • palliative care;
  • Canada;
  • home care;
  • euthanasia;
  • public preferences;
  • health policy;
  • end-of-life;
  • terminal care;
  • dying;
  • death

End-of-life care preferences of Canadian senior citizens with caregiving experience

A grounded theory study of senior citizens’ preferences for end-of-life care was conducted in 1998 in Canada. Seniors who had experienced the deaths of others and who had considered their own death and dying were the target population. The sample was 49 seniors who met the study criteria. Participants provided end-of-life care in a variety of settings for 1–8 family members or friends. Two concepts identified were expected dependency while dying and appropriate end-of-life care. Almost all participants preferred to be cared for at home, yet family caregivers who could provide appropriate end-of-life care when dependent were needed for this to occur. The appropriateness of end-of-life care was contingent upon the place where end-of-life care occurred, as well as the type of care provided. Life prolongation was not desired, 53% even endorsed euthanasia as a way of bringing about the inevitable end to life.