Interview Dr. Matthias Thöns, specialist for anaesthesiology, emergency, pain and palliative medicine

Dr. Thöns, we have to ask you something: Mainly elderly people die of and with corona. They talk about the number of ICU and respiratory care places. These are exactly the topics that have been discussed in palliative care for years. Where is the palliative thought at the moment?

If you’re being honest, Covid-19 is not an ICU disease. On average, patients over 80 years of age are severely affected, and in the vast majority of cases they are multimorbid, i.e. have multiple illnesses. They get pneumonia from this virus and it is then fatal. The majority of those affected have always been treated by palliative care. In the past, pneumonia at the end of life was called the old person’s friend. And now they go and diagnose the corona infection and turn it into an intensive care case and of course they still can’t save the patients. They are simply too seriously ill.