Is it right to put pressure on us?
EVEN if we're terminally ill, we just don't want to even think about death. Only a few people have taken up the opportunity already provided by the 2007 Mental Capacity Act to stipulate advance directions about how they want to be treated if they become incapacitated. But under a new patients' charter, dying people and their relatives are to be encouraged by GPs in 8,500 English surgeries to set the record straight. They're being asked to say clearly whether they want to be resuscitated by medical staff and how they'd like to be treated in their final days. A legally binding witnessed record of their wishes is expected to be kept on a new NHS database, which will be accessible to all medical staff who may be involved in that final care.
I ask is it right to put any pressure on people to confront something they'd sooner put to the back of their mind at what is already a distressing time? What if you change your mind at the last minute?
D F Courtney
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