Key resources for planning for death
Compassion in Dying was set up by Dignity in Dying but is quite separate from their campaign (for more on that, see under Assisted Dying). The website provides excellent information on your right to make decisions about your own treatment, about advance decisions and powers of attorney. It also has information specific to Scotland. The ‘Info Library’ tab on the website gives access to a range of leaflets, information packs and forms, as well as a phone helpline; one excellent resource is their leaflet Starting the Conversation. If you then wish to make an Advance Decision, you can optionally do so online through their spin-off My Decisions website or request a hard copy form through the post.
ADA (Advance Decisions Assistance) is another charity which is specifically focused on raising awareness of Advance Decisions and helping people complete them. They offer one-to-one help either to write an AD or to review one you have written, in order to ensure that it will be valid.
Many of the resources referred to in other sections of this material, such as those available from Marie Curie and from Dying Matters, will provide practical help in preparing for death and the many issues that patients and their families may wish to consider.
Information on organ donation, and an online route for registration, are available from an excellent NHS site. The Methodist Church among others supported the Flesh and Blood campaign to encourage donation, and various materials are still available on their site.
The information on medical decisions provided above is believed to be accurate but can only summarise a complex area of law. Different laws apply in the varying parts of the United Kingdom and of course in other jurisdictions. For more in-depth information on medical responsibilities and ethics, the key document from the General Medical Council is Treatment and Care Towards the End of Life.