Anyone who has sat bedside to a dying loved one knows the intense physical and metal distress involved. The last days of a terminally ill patient are precious, and an experimental program will begin this April, giving magic mushrooms to gravely sick patients in an Australian hospital.

Similar trials have taken place in the United States, with significant result found at New York University and Johns Hopkins. Subjects exposed to psilocybin (the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms) showed a significant decrease in depression, anxiety and existential distress.

“What we try to do in palliative care at the moment is to relieve the pain and suffering as much as possible by giving people pain medication. But morphine’s not going to take away their anxiety or their depression,” Dr. Stephen Bright told VICE start in 2018.

As for the 2019 trial in Australia, 30 terminally ill patients will begin psilocybin treatment at Melbourne’s St. Vincent’s Hospital in April.

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