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Dignity in Dying expresses support for increased focus on palliative care

Today MP Caroline Spelman’s Palliative Care Private Members Bill will receive its Second Reading. The Bill includes provisions to make Palliative Care accessible for all with a life-limiting or terminal illness as well as facilitating more people to die at home, if that is what they choose. We commend the aims of this Bill to provide patients with greater choice and access to services at the end of their lives and welcome the opportunity it will provide for debate in this area.

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying says:

“We welcome the opportunity this Bill presents for MPs to discuss greater patient choice at the end of life. The Government’s End of Life Care Strategy is a significant step forward, however, given financial constraints in the current economic climate, it is important that end of life care remains a priority.

“Polls have shown that 57% of people want to die at home, whereas in reality 58% spend their last days in hospital. This is evidence that patients are currently not able to exercise enough choice in their care at the end of their lives, and this must be addressed. Research conducted by Dignity in Dying in 2008 found that it was important to 90% of those surveyed that they had access to good quality palliative care should they need it at the end of their lives. Caroline Spelman’s Bill is a welcome reminder that more needs to be done to ensure that everybody, where possible, can have what they consider to be a good death.”


Notes to editor

About Dignity in Dying:

· Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.

· Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

· Opinion polls consistently show that at least 80% of the UK population support a change in the law on assisted dying.

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