Weekly Blog – 23rd February 2018

Welcome to the first of our weekly blog posts, keeping Friends at the End members and the wider public up to date with our latest news and announcements. Each blog post will include a round-up of our activities over the last week and feature a selection of the latest national and international news regarding assisted dying and end-of-life issues.

Visit our website every Friday for the latest weekly round-up and look out for upcoming guest blogs from our colleagues, ambassadors, and associates.

News and Announcements 

BBC Radio Scotland – Sunday Morning with Bob Dickson Appearance

Amanda Ward, chief executive of Friends at the End, appeared on BBC Radio Scotland’s Sunday Morning with Bob Dickson on 18th February to discuss end-of-life issues and highlight the work of our organisation.

The discussion focuses on preparing wills and advance directives, encouraging young people to set out their wishes as early as possible in the event of death or serious illness to ensure their requests are fulfilled. Questions regarding end-of-life choices are then posed to a group of senior pupils from North Berwick High School, gathering their views on discussing a largely taboo subject with their loved ones.

You can hear the piece by listening back on the BBC iPlayer, beginning at 42m 52sec.

Jackson Carlaw MSP Receives Cross-Party Support for Assisted Dying Motion

Jackson Carlaw, MSP for Eastwood, has received cross-party support for his recent parliamentary motion concerning a decision made by the criminal appeal court in Edinburgh to overturn a conviction regarding assisted dying. Deputy Convener of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on End of Life Choices, Mr Carlaw reaffirmed his support for clear legal guidelines on assisted dying in Scotland and called on the Scottish government to establish an inquiry or commission into issues surrounding assisted dying.

Having assisted Mr Carlaw’s office to lodge the motion, Friends at the End welcome cross-party support on this issue and commend Mr Carlaw for representing the views of the majority of the Scottish public who support assisted dying.

‘Losing Me’ Short Film – Alex Pandolfo

Alex Pandolfo, a Friends at the End member, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. In a new student-produced short documentary film, he discusses his decision to travel to Switzerland for a medically assisted death and why he continues to campaign to change the law on assisted dying in the UK.

Mr Pandolfo has kindly shared the film with Friends at the End in hope that our members can share his story across social media and contribute to our continuing campaign to bring about a change in the law.

 Articles of the Week

17th February 2018 – The Times: Assisted dying and the role of palliative care

Following a recent statement of support from the British Medical Journal urging the British Medical Association and other medical bodies to rethink their opposition to medically assisted dying, readers of The Times wrote to the newspaper expressing their views on the subject. Read here.

20th February 2018 – Business Insider UK: ‘Bucket lists’ might help with end-of-life discussions

Randi Belisomo highlights the power of the ‘bucket list’ in opening up often difficult conversations surrounding death and end-of-life choices. Making a list of goals could be seen as a first step towards creating an advance directive or will. Read here.

22nd February 2018 – Sky Views: Should we be able to ask for help to die?

Sky Correspondent Michelle Clifford reflects on the death of a friend and sets out her case of support for a change in the law on assisted dying in the UK. Read here.

Want more?

Follow us @FriendsAtTheEnd on Twitter or like ‘Friends at the End’ on Facebook.

Our members are at the forefront of the assisted dying movement, helping to continually push the issue forward. If you are not yet a member of Friends at the End and would like more information about joining us, please visit our ‘Membership’ page.

You can also make a donation to Friends at the End, helping us to continue our work and bring about a change in the law. More information is available via our ‘Donation’ page.