On Thursday 12th December Lord Dubs will introduce a debate in the House of Lords on patient choice at the end of life. The debate will be an opportunity for peers to comment on end of life issues following a year which has seen an independent review of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient, chaired by Baroness Neuberger, and the tabling of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill, due to have its Second Reading in the next parliamentary year.
Lord Dubs said:
“It is important that patients are put first in all aspects of care, and this is equally true at the end of life. So as to minimise suffering, giving dying patients greater choice over how, when and where they die is vital and I look forward to hearing my fellow peers discuss this issue.
“This debate comes at a critical time with the current phasing out of the Liverpool Care Pathway. Efforts must be redoubled to ensure the continued development and access to patient-centred care at the end of life.”
Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying and Compassion in Dying, said:
“Patient choice at the end of life continues to increase in public prominence, and this is largely but not wholly reflected in policy. Last week saw a Question of Short Debate from the Earl of Glasgow in which it was heartening to see the majority of speakers in favour of assisted dying.
“Lord Dubs’ debate will highlight the importance of patient choice, a value at the core of Dignity in Dying as well as its partner charity Compassion in Dying which informs people about their current rights at the end of life. Current rights include setting out treatment wishes in advance of a loss of capacity via an Advance Decision. Choice is accommodating to all different views, either for those who wish to prolong their life as much as possible or those who wish to hasten death at the end of life, and this is why end of life care needs to place the utmost importance on this approach.”
Notes to editor:
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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 25,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.