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Plan well, Die well Featured

New research has revealed that one in five dying patients receive treatment their friends and family say they would not have wanted, with almost half (47%) feeling their loved one had a bad death.

Ambulance trust's policies on recording end-of-life wishes - findings from a freedom of information request (2012)

In late 2011/early 2012 Compassion in Dying contacted all Ambulance Trusts in the UK with a Freedom of Information request, which asked questions on their Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) policy, end-of-life care registration systems, out-of-hours care and the use of Advance Decisions (formerly known as living wills).

Ambulance trust's policies on recording end-of-life wishes - findings from a freedom of information request (2014)

Prompted by callers to the Information Line – who voiced concerns that paramedics might not have access to their Advance Decision – we contacted all Ambulance Trusts in England and Wales to find out what systems they have in place to record patients’ medical treatment preferences in the event that they lose capacity and whether patient preferences are adhered to.

An analysis of calls to the Compassion in Dying information line (2013)

An Analysis of Calls to the Compassion in Dying End-of-Life Rights Information Line was conducted by Loughborough University. This study, which looked at in excess of 200 calls to Compassion in Dying, found that a major barrier to patients exercising choice was doctors’ failure to engage with patients about their Advance Decision and the lack of systems in place to record them.

An analysis of calls to the Compassion in Dying information line (2013)

An Analysis of Calls to the Compassion in Dying End-of-Life Rights Information Line was conducted by Loughborough University. This study, which looked at in excess of 200 calls to Compassion in Dying, found that a major barrier to patients exercising choice was doctors’ failure to engage with patients about their Advance Decision and the lack of systems in place to record them.

Compassion in Dying policy manifesto

In order to ensure our work is evidence based, we keep up-to-date with current policy and research.  Alongside this we conduct our own research and information-gathering. Our Policy Manifesto sets out the challenges we have identified to enabling greater patient choice at the end of life, and what we envisage as the way forward.

Knowledge of end-of-life rights and choices - YouGov poll (2011)

In 2011, Compassion in Dying conducted a poll with YouGov on knowledge of end of life rights and choices. This poll found that 60% would want comfort care only if they were dying with no prospect of recovery in the last days and weeks of life, however only 3% had an Advance Decision which could state this. 53% wrongly believed that they had a legal right to make these kinds of decisions on behalf of their next of kin.

Starting the Conversation

This booklet aims to support you to talk about your wishes for care and treatment with your family, friends and doctor.

Tie your camel first

Our new report details findings and recommendations from a pioneering project aimed at engaging the Somali community in planning ahead for end-of-life care and treatment.

Who do you want to make decisions for you at end of life? YouGov Poll (2014)

A YouGov poll, commissioned by Compassion in Dying, has found that 82% of people would want to be in control of life-prolonging medical treatments should they lose mental capacity. Only 7% would rather these decisions be made by a medical professional. However, the poll also revealed that only 4% of people have an Advance Decision or have appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare to ensure their medical treatment preferences can be respected.

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