Talking about death and dying can be uncomfortable. But, the reality is that all lives end. Options and choices regarding end-of-life care have recently received scrutiny in the media, popular culture, academia and in the UK parliament, as well as devolved governments. Views are often polarised and debates elicit a range of responses. The issues are complex and nuanced and need to be explored in some depth in order to examine and understand them properly.
For all these reasons, the BMA launched a major project in November 2014 to examine both the public and medical professionals’ attitudes on aspects of end-of-life care and physician-assisted dying.
We wanted to explore:
- how the reality, and perceptions, of end of life care compare to models of good practice;
- the challenges of providing good care at the end of life; and
- the possible impact on the doctor-patient relationship if physician-assisted dying were to be legalised.
We believe the outcomes and recommendations from this project will help inform our own decisions and deliberations and also contribute to the broader public debate, now and into the future.
It is important to be clear that the project was not intended to alter current BMA policy on end-of-life care or physician-assisted dying, but to help facilitate a full and informed debate on the issue.
Read the full report via BMA