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Mushroom Trial for Dying

January 2019

DYING patients will be treated with psylocybin under a medical trial aiming to ease the paralysing anxiety felt by palliative care patients.

Alongside psychotherapy and guidance, the psychedelic medicines are hoped to give terminally ill patients a new perspective on their lives, and to reduce the fear and depression which can often take over their final months.

The trial has taken more than a year to gain approval by ethics committees as well as federal and state authorities, but will see the first of 30 patients treated from early 2020.

St Vincent’s clinical psychologist Dr Margaret Ross said the study would see patients given one to two doses of psilocybin and psychotherapy in a treatment protocol shown in overseas trials to produce rapid and dramatic improvements in depression and anxiety, and providing an altered outlook on their situation approaching death. 

Up to three in 10 palliative care patients can experience extreme distress in their final months.

At the moment we are not actively recruiting, but if you are interested in being a trial participant, please email psilocybinstudy@svha.org.au.  We will be in contact closer to the trial commencement.  Thank you for your interest.

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DYING patients will be treated with psychedelic synthetic magic mushrooms under a medical trial aiming to ease the paralysing anxiety felt by palliative care patients.

The mind-bending drugs are hoped to give terminally ill patients a new perspective on their lives, guided by psychiatrists to remove the fear and depression which can often take over their final months.

The trial has taken more than a year to gain approval by ethics committees as well as federal and state authorities, but will see the first of 30 patients treated from April.

St Vincent’s clinical psychologist Dr Margaret Ross said the study would see patients given a single dose of psilocybin, which is so powerful it can unlock a section of a patient’s brains to give them an altered outlook on their situation approaching death.

It can last for six months or more.

Up to three in 10 palliative care patients can experience extreme distress in their final months.