Terminally ill asylum seeker should have palliative care

Medical specialists are calling on the Australian Government to immediately transfer a terminally ill asylum-seeker at its Nauru detention facility to Australia for palliative care treatment.

It follows reports that a 63-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, diagnosed with advanced lung cancer, is in a deteriorating condition. 

“Someone who is suffering from a terminal illness and where treatment is out of the question, should not be held in detention,” Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) President Associate Professor Mark Lane said.

“This man should be brought to Australia for palliative care and be allowed dignity and respect at the end of his life.”

The RACP’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker Health Position Statement sets out a strong evidence-based position supporting equity of access to healthcare for refugees and asylum seekers. It has been endorsed by 14 medical colleges and peak health organisations across Australasia.

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