Referring people to Mercy Hospice
Mercy Hospice welcomes referrals for people who live within the Auckland District Health Board area.
To refer a patient for community care fax a referral form to (09) 361 5977. Please click here for a Mercy Hospice Referral Form.
Frequently Asked Questions
Referrals are accepted from your GP or specialist doctor, from Auckland City Hospital, or from a community nurse.
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.
Te Korowai Atawhai Mercy Hospice Auckland affirms all human life as being of worth and having intrinsic dignity. Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide in any form are contrary to the ethics and philosophy of care adhered to by Mercy Hospice Auckland. We oppose any change to New Zealand law which would provide for the legalisation of assisted dying.
Good end of life care, be it aged care, palliative or hospice care, aims to enable people to live fully and comfortably to the natural end of their lives and to die in peace and dignity. Rather than legislating to enable foreshortening of the lives of those who are dying, we advocate for increased funding to provide accessible, affordable palliative and hospice care to all who need these services.
Euthanasia and assisted suicide as life-ending practices are not health procedures. Such practices violate health care ethics and are antithetical to the practice of palliative care. Palliative care
- affirms life and regards death as a normal process
- intends to neither hasten nor postpone death
- provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms
(Ministry of Health, 2001; World Health Organisation, 2002).
Patients, however, have the right to refuse or request withdrawal of life prolonging treatments such as CPR, or the administration of medically assisted nutrition and / or hydration. Withholding or withdrawing of treatment that is non-beneficial or burdensome to a patient at end of life does not constitute euthanasia (ANZSPM, 2017).
Mercy Hospice Auckland remains committed to providing best-practice, holistic care for our patients and their families as they face the difficulties presented by life-threatening illnesses.
Terminology used to describe assisted death is not always clearly understood, therefore the following definitions are included for clarification.
Euthanasia is defined as “the deliberate ending of another person’s life at his or her request. … If someone other than the person who dies performs the last act, euthanasia has occurred”
(Palliative Care Australia, 2011; Palliative Care Council of New Zealand, 2013).
Physician Assisted Suicide
Physician assisted suicide (PAS) is defined as occurring if: “A doctor intentionally helps a person to commit suicide by providing drugs (or other means) for self-administration, at the person’s voluntary request. If the person who dies performs the last act, physician assisted suicide has occurred” (Palliative Care Council of New Zealand, 2013).
Australia and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine (2017). ANZSPM Position Statement on the Practice of Euthanasia and Physician Assisted Suicide. Retrieved from http://www.anzspm.org.au/c/anzspm?a=da&did=1005077
Palliative Care Australia. (2011). Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide: Position Statement. Retrieved from: http://palliativecare.org.au/policy/.
Palliative Care Council of New Zealand. (2013). The Palliative Care Council of New Zealand’s position on euthanasia. Retrieved from: http://www.cancercontrolnz.govt.nz/palliative-care-council-new-zealands-positioneuthanasia.
World Health Organisation. (2002). Palliative care is an essential part of cancer control. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/cancer/palliative/en/.