Dr. Klaus Kuch, MD FRCPC, attended medical school in Heidelberg and Munich, Germany and graduated with a Doctorate in Pathology. He was a licensed general practitioner in Germany and Canada and holds Canadian and US specialists’ certificates in Psychiatry. He has published widely on anxiety disorder, PTSD and chronic pain and has extensive medico-legal experience with civil and criminal cases in Canada, Germany and the USA.
At the time of his retirement he was working at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Forensic Division of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. He also operated a mood disorders clinic at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie. Earlier in his career he worked at the Smythe Pain Clinic in Toronto and was cross-appointed associate professor of anesthesia.
Patients have the right to be fully informed and to set priorities for their care. They have the right to accept or decline medical procedures. Their rights must guide every medical act undertaken on their behalf.
They also have the right to receive “the necessities of life”. We need to ask our patients what “life and its necessities” means to them. To some it will it mean prolonging life by all means possible. To others it will it mean preparing for a good death. Ultimately, patients’ wishes should prevail.
To read about Dr. Kuch's viewpoint in more detail, please see his letter to the Vancouver Sun.