Helen and Deirdre

Version 3

Patient advocate Dorothy Kamaker reports this note from the coalface in her advocacy work.

“Deirdre wanted her 93-year-old mother Helen to be allowed to die. Helen had been three weeks in hospital with a terminal illness and was being “tortured” by futile treatments with no hope of recovery. For Deirdre, the grieving had been displaced by frustration and guilt. 

“She believed she was letting her mother down because she couldn’t prevent her unnecessary suffering.  Together we were able to negotiate the realignment of Helen’s treatment regime from curative to palliative care and the relief for both Helen and Deirdre was incredible to see.

“Deirdre had orchestrated the best outcome: a peaceful death. She was proud even if she was sad.”

Dorothy herself required the services of an external patient advocate when she had a terrifying trip to hospital as Kate Aubusson captured in the Sydney Morning Herald.

To find out more about Dorothy, patient advocacy and advance planning go to:

And watch her discuss the barriers to patient advocacy in both public and private hospitals as well as patients in or entering aged care here.

Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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