England has the chance through my Private Member's Bill to improve care. The Bill would require all commissioners to ensure their patient population has access to seven day specialist palliative care services, that patients and their families have a clear point of contact in a crisis, that there is advice available at all times to front line staff caring for dying patients and that such staff have all received core training in good end of life care.
With the prospect of Rob Marris MP's private members bill bringing the possibility of legislation to legalise 'Assisted Dying' back on the table, the question must be asked, does the general public really understand the implications of what this means for everyone involved?
Those who find suffering enriching or worth enduring deserve every support, but in whose interest are we forcing a person to stay alive who wishes to die? For me, it is a religious response to say that they have a right to choose to die rather than carry on in pain or indignity.
Our beloved 14 year old cocker spaniel Sammy who has lived for the past six months with senile dementia, blindness, a lack of bowel control and use of his legs, was put to sleep yesterday. With our dog we were allowed to choose when to end his life so that he could die with dignity and achieve a 'good death'. We were not allowed that option with my father.