Time to talk about the last taboo

by  Amanda Ward, Chief Executive of Friends at the End

Over the summer we’ve been holding local information meetings to meet members and like-minded individuals seeking to have an informed debate around the last taboo subject of dying.

As a UK membership organisation, Friends at the End is campaigning for a change in the law, to legally allow Assisted Dying in Scotland. Part of that work is to educate decision makers and the public in general about end of life options.

Amanda Ward, Chief Executive of Friends at the End

With a growing membership spanning all corners of the globe, the organisation works closely with politicians, academics and the public to promote knowledge about end of life choices, partake in political debates, consultations and legislative processes, and invest in academic research to further highlight the need for legislative change.

Friends at the End works with its partners internationally to promote the exchange of ideas and information. We are members of Right to Die Europe and the World Federation of Right to Die Societies.

Unfortunately Scotland is falling woefully behind many of the jurisdictions who have addressed this very sensitive topic. By introducing legislation on assisted dying in Scotland, we can create a clear framework which protects the patient, their family and their medical team, should they find themselves in the position with a terminal illness or incurable disease which leads to them deciding their end of life choices.

Friends at the End was formed in 2000 by Dr Libby Wilson, who until her passing in March 2016, was convenor of the organisation. Over the years, Friends at the End has supported hundreds of people to make their individual end of life choices. Our support is not limited solely to patients who have a terminal illness or a life limiting condition, we offer support to anyone who wants to take control of their individual end of life choice.

We believe that Assisted Dying is underpinned by a fundamental right for everyone who is of sound mind but is either terminally ill or incurably suffering, to gain the ability to have assistance to die at a time and in a manner of their choosing. As such the long-term aim of Friends at the End is to work towards introducing a Member’s Bill to the Scottish Parliament to allowing Assisted Dying in Scotland.

We’d love to hear your views around end of life choices. Contact us via email: info@friends-at-the-end.org.uk or post to Friends at the End, Office 7, Block 2, Kirkhill House, Broom Road East, Newton Mearns, Glasgow, G77 5LL or call us on 0141 356 4222.

First printed in Humanitie Autumn 2017, to get your copy delivered digitally or through the post join today!

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