Referrals to Mercy Hospice
Mercy Hospice welcomes referrals for people who live within the Auckland District Health Board area.
If you are a medical professional and you want to refer a patient for community care with Mercy Hospice, please complete a Mercy Hospice Referral Form, and email it to [email protected].
If you are a member of the public, and you would like your loved one cared for by Mercy Hospice, please ask your medical professional to contact Mercy.
Hospice for more information or to complete the Mercy Hospice Referral Form mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
The End of Life Choice Act 2019 (EOLC Act)
Nga Whaea Atawhai Sisters of Mercy have provided care to New Zealanders since 1850. Thanks to their desire to achieve excellence in all they do, the name Mercy is now synonymous with care for vulnerable, sick and disadvantaged people. Today, Te Korowai Atawhai Mercy Hospice continues this rich heritage and has provided palliative care for the people of Auckland for more than 40 years.
The philosophy underpinning the care at Te Korowai Atawhai Mercy Hospice is that all human life is to be treasured and treated with dignity. We consider that the provision of high-quality palliative care alleviates suffering and provides support to the patient and their whānau so they may use their precious time in ways which are most meaningful to them. Te Korowai Atawhai Mercy Hospice adheres to the core principle of palliative care, which is to provide holistic care that does not seek to shorten life or delay death.
In relation to The End of Life Choice Act 2019, which came into force in New Zealand from 7th November 2021, Te Korowai Atawhai Mercy Hospice does not provide assisted-dying services as described in the EOLC Act. This service is not part of our scope of practice, which is based on humanitarian, ethical, professional, and values-based considerations.
We assure all patients and their whānau that we continue to care for them with the deepest levels of compassion and dignity, and the highest standards of palliative end of life care.
MH holds a conscientious objection (CO) to the End of Life Choice Act 2019 (EOLC Act) and cannot be actively involved with any assisted dying services.
MH will however continue to provide high quality palliative care and support to our patients and their whānau regardless of a patient’s wish for assisted dying.
What if my whānau enquires about the possibility of assisted dying for me and I am unaware they are asking about this?
The Act states that only the person who wishes to exercise the option of receiving assisted dying is permitted to make the request.
The Act does not require the patient to inform their whānau about their request for Assisted Dying.
Your health information will be treated with the same high level of confidentiality required for all health records.
As MH is a conscientious objector, we will direct patients to the SCENZ Group on the Ministry of Health website, for them to access independently.
If I request assisted dying, will MH still be able to provide ongoing palliative care in the interim?
Yes. MH will continue to provide palliative care even if the patient avails themselves of assisted dying.
Bereavement support will be available, as usual MH practice, to whānau of all MH patients.
No. This is because of MH’s position as a conscientious objector.
I am concerned that the doctor will talk about assisted dying or start the process without my knowledge or approval. Could that happen?
The act states that the option of receiving assisted dying can ONLY be started by the person themselves and Healthcare professionals must not initiate any discussion about assisted dying.
Also MH holds a conscientious objection to the Act so will not be involved in assisted dying.
I completed an Advance Care Plan (ACP) 5 years ago stating that I want assisted dying if I had a terminal illness. If over time I become more confused and I am unable to talk for myself will my ACP be followed?
No. An ACP is irrelevant as the request for AD services must come from a person who is competent to make an informed decision and able to sign/date the AD forms.
I was admitted urgently into IPU with little opportunity to ask about MH’s position on AD. I inform MH that I wish to have AD when I am ready and wasn’t aware that MH held a conscientious objection. What will happen?
MH maintains a conscientious objection to the EOLC Act and cannot be involved with any assisted dying services.
Under the Act MH is obliged to inform the patient of their rights to contact the SCENZ group for the further information.
Referrals are accepted from your GP or specialist doctor, from Auckland City Hospital, or from a community nurse. Start the process by asking your medical professional to complete the Mercy Hospice Referral Form.
No. The hospice offers community and inpatient care at no charge to patients. The hospice receives part funding of its services from the Auckland District Health Board but needs to raise over 4 million annually to provide a full hospice service. Donations towards the cost of care are always welcome.
No – the hospice cares for people from all backgrounds.
Your own doctor (GP or specialist) is welcome to visit you in the hospice and discuss your illness with our doctors, but while you are in the hospice inpatient unit your medical care is with our team of specialist palliative care doctors.
When you are at home, your own GP oversees your care however, they can discuss management of your illness with the community team and they can access advice directly if needed from our Medical Specialists.
Patients usually come in for one of two reasons:
Management of a problem such as pain, or other troublesome symptoms. When this is attended to, most patients go home again, but can be readmitted to the hospice later if the problem recurs or there is need as their illness progresses.
Care in the final stages. Sometimes despite best efforts care at home is no longer possible and some people come into the hospice for care in the final stages of their illness.
Some people are admitted to the hospice for care in the final stages of their illness. However, many go home again after an admission to sort out a problem
We acknowledge how important the comfort of home and the presence of family members can be to a person facing a life limiting illness. The hospice supports people at home as much as they can, helping them to remain as independent and active as possible.