Released this last week is the End of Life Care Patient Charter from the Royal College of General Practitioners in partnership with the Royal College of Nursing.
The language used at times and the focus on autonomy and choice leaves it open to exploitation by pro-euthanasia groups, who have been quick to affirm it. Perhaps they see it as a step in the right direction to be followed by more lobbying. As long as euthanasia and assisted suicide remain illegal there is little scope for the Charter to become a vehicle for the realisation of their objectives.
The Charter is seen by some, including CARE, be a positive first step in a move to ensure the best possible care for those nearing the end of their life. It specifically allows for patients to receive as much ‘emotional and spiritual support’ as they need from their practice. Less doctors being disciplined for talking about spiritual things with their patients then?