Responding to the case of Paul Briggs, Compassion in Dying’s Director of Information Usha Grieve said:

“The case of Mr Briggs is heart breaking but all too familiar. At Compassion in Dying we know of many people whose family members lack capacity, either because of an accident or illness, and witness them being given life prolonging treatment that they would not want. Many are surprised to find that in the absence of an Advance Decision, something only 4% of people have made, it is not them that makes the final decision about their treatment, but their doctor.

“We urge anyone with strong feelings about what treatment they would or wouldn’t want to plan ahead using free websites such as mydecisions.org.uk. Even if you are in good health now, an accident can suddenly limit your ability to make your own decisions and place your loved ones in a horrific situation of not being able to carry out your wishes. Free advice is available from Compassion in Dying for all that wish to plan ahead.”

***ENDS***

Notes:

  • Compassion in Dying is a national charity (no. 1120203) that aims to support people at the end of life to have what they consider to be a good death by providing information and support around their legal rights and choices. We are a leading provider of free Advance Decisions in the UK and we also conduct and review research around patient rights and choices in end-of-life care.
  • Compassion in Dying is a charity that provides free support for people to plan ahead for a time that they may lack capacity to make decisions about their treatment including a Freephone information line 0800 999 2434.
  • Compassion in Dying developed www.mydecisions.org.uk which is a website the public can use for free to make a legally binding Advanced Decision or an Advance statement.