Healthy living

End of life care

Hearing that your illness can not be cured can be a frightening experience. In this section you will find information and resources to help you understand the issues faced by people who are dying. Having this information can help you feel more comfortable making decisions when facing the end of life.

Palliative care

Palliative care sees death and dying as a normal part of life. It does not try to shorten life and it does not try to make life longer - instead it helps you live as well as possible. It can support you as well as your carers, friends and family throughout your illness.

Visit our Palliative care page for more information about what palliative care is, who it is for, and how to access palliative care services.

Making your care choices known (advance care planning)

When you approach the end of life it is important that your loved ones and health care team know what your health and personal preferences are. There are a few steps you can take to make sure your wishes can be followed even if your illness takes away your ability to make decisions about your care.

  • Advance care planning is about planning your current and future health care. It involves learning about your options and choosing the type of care that is best for you.
Voluntary assisted dying

Voluntary assisted dying refers to asking for medical help to end your life if you have a disease or illness that is so severe it is going to cause your death and your suffering cannot be relived in a manner tolerable to you. Voluntary assisted dying is a legal end of life choice for eligible Western Australians as of 1 July 2021. 

Information about voluntary assisted dying:

You can find more information on the Department of Health website (external site)

Understanding the dying process

It is important to remember that just as people are unique, so too is their death. It is almost impossible to tell you exactly when or how a person will die.

Regardless of the illness there are several changes that are likely to happen as death gets closer. Our Understanding the dying process page can help you be prepared for what to expect as death approaches.

Last reviewed: 01-07-2021

WA Cancer and Palliative Network

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice. Information about a service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace professional advice. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified professional for answers to their questions.

Related sites

  • CareSearch (external site) - provide information about the palliative care journey including care and support services for patients, carers and families.