We believe it is vital that patients wishes are respected at the end-of-life; be they decisions to continue with life-sustaining treatment or to refuse it. We hope this case highlights the need for doctors to receive more support and guidance in ensuring their patients’ have the deaths they would want.
On Sunday Dignity in Dying Patron Sophie Pandit appeared on 4Thought explaining why she doesn’t believe that her mother’s decision to choose a good death over a bad one was selfish. She describes the deaths of both of her parents from similar degenerative diseases, and sets out why she would like to see the law changed in the UK.
On Monday, Martin Green, a dementia expert for the Department of Health, said patients who were too frail to take their own lives were being denied ‘choice’ and ‘autonomy’ because the choice of assisted dying is not available to dying adults in the UK. In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, he urged ministers to review the law and suggested that a referendum or a free vote in Parliament should be called to settle policy on the issue. Dignity in Dying agreed that the issue of assisted dying must be resolved. We went on to say that we are confident that if a referendum was called, the vast majority of the public would want to see a change in the law to allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death.
It was great to see people engaging with all of these stories on Facebook and Twitter, despite it being a Bank holiday; so thank you for your company over the weekend. With your continued support we will see more choice and compassion in our end-of-life care.