Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 73(4) November 2023


From Our duty of care,
Dr Gillian wright writes-

Duty of care logo

Dear Colleagues,

This week, organizations across the palliative care sector have come together to outline a manifesto for delivering excellent care for all.

A manifesto for palliative and end-of-life care highlights what the government elected at the approaching UK General Election (which must happen within 15 months, and likely within a year) needs to do to make sure that everyone affected by dying, death, and bereavement receives the best possible care and support.

  • Of 90% of people who die in the UK need specialist or generalist palliative care, only 50% receive it
  • 70% of family members could not access the support they would have liked following a close bereavement

Their key asks are that that the next Government would:

  • Deliver a funding solution for hospices and palliative care
  • Provide a delivery plan for local services in every nation
  • Ensure services meet individual need, including those dying at home
  • Ensure no-one dies in poverty
  • Implement a cross-government bereavement plan

One of the important aspects of the assisted suicide debate is that it highlights great needs within our community: people expressing fear about dying, accounts of poor symptom control and inadequate care, and distressed families.

Yes, there is a great need, but the answer is not to offer to assist suicide, but instead provide universal access to excellent palliative and social care.

It is a question for us as a community. How will we care for the most vulnerable in our midst?

This would be an ideal link to send to a MP or MSP (some of you are getting to know them pretty well now!) Please let them know that there is a good alternative to assisted suicide and euthanasia.

There is a better way.

Read and share the palliative care manifesto

Please do keep in touch: let us know your ideas, comments and feedback.

Best wishes,

Dr Gillian Wright
MD MPhil
Director, Our Duty of Care
5th October 2023.