Dropping your bundle

Posted on July 23rd, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 1 Comment

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

Last week I was approached by a law firm who wanted to submit an article on assisted dying, in the wake of the recent Neil Conway case (lost in the Court of Appeal at the end of June).

After some thought I declined the offer, saying that, after sounding out this topic with a few care providers, I had got the sense they felt it was not a topic they should weigh into: that it was a question for wider society to decide. I mentioned also that while some providers felt the current law is fit for purpose, they would not wish to say so for fear of being accused of being cynically concerned about keeping-up occupancy. (To be accurate I heard this from only one provider and I think he was being a little jocular).

If new legislation were to be introduced, enabling assisted dying (with safeguards) then a piece on potential ramifications for care homes would then surely be appropriate.

But am I right in keeping the debate off the pages of Caring Times in the meantime? After all, care homes are rapidly becoming ranked alongside hospices in the expert provision of end of life care. As private citizens I am sure we all have our own views on assisted dying but should we debate the issue as professionals?

Australians have a wonderfully descriptive phrase, ‘dropping your bundle’, which essentially means ‘to stop trying, to give up the effort’.

Good care homes strive to make the last months, weeks and days of a resident’s life as rich and life-affirming as possible, ending with a good death, and that is a bundle we should never drop, even though some residents will express the wish to drop theirs.

  • The CT Blog is written in a personal capacity – comments and opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed or supported by Caring Times.

One response to “Dropping your bundle”

  1. Bob Ferguson says:

    Your legal eagle is probably jumping the gun, perhaps in preparation for dropping their bundle! Assisted dying is unlikely to make it through the parliamentary morass – unless, of course, the current obsession with referendums were to be allowed to embrace assisted dying. And why not?

    In the meantime, I suggest that advance healthcare directives (living wills) would make a better topic – for all of us, the need to have them, and for care professionals, the duty to abide by them.

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