We would like to draw supporters' attention to three opportunities to engage.
The ongoing consultation on choice in end of life care, being led for the Government by the National Council for Palliative Care, which we pointed to in our last eNewsletter, closes on Tuesday 30 September. If you wish to share your views, you have only a few days left.
Our submission suggests that the priority should not be isolating new choices or setting up new frameworks, but rather identifying existing choices. We should ensure that through planning, training and funding, these are available as standard across the NHS. This would best serve patients and the culture of care we all want.
If you wish to contribute, we suggest that you focus on existing practice. Good end of life care is founded on respect, mutual understanding and empowerment. The key to building this up is to standardise care provision better and to maintain healthcare professionals' commitment to support patients in times of despair.
An international day conference on "Euthanasia and Assisted Dying: Lessons from Belgium" will take place in Twickenham on Saturday 1st November. The conference has been organised by CNK member organisation the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in cooperation with KU Leuven, the Scottish Council for Human Bioethics, and the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies at St Mary's University, Twickenham. Participants include consultant physicians and academics from Belgium, alongside significant speakers such as Professor Sheila (Baroness) Hollins and Dr Kevin Fitzpatrick. More information here; bookings here.
Finally, with the Scottish Referendum behind us and party conference season in full swing, politicians are focusing on next May's General Election. As local parties finish confirming their prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs), please ensure that you challenge any who come to your door on euthanasia and assisted suicide, and their commitment to palliative care.
Seek out your PPCs: don't wait for them to come to you. Mindful of the recent death of stalwart campaigner for our cause, Jim Dobbin MP, ask PPCs how they would stand up for those who, though dying, are not dead yet.