A charter for the care of people who are nearing the end of life has been drawn up by the Royal College of GPs and the Royal College of Nursing:
1) We want to offer people who are nearing the end of life the highest quality of care and support. We wish to help you live as well as you can, for as long as you can. Therefore, if and when you want us to, we will:
2) Listen to your wishes about the remainder of your life, including your final days and hours, answer as best we can any questions that you have and provide you with the information that you feel you need.
3) Help you think ahead so as to identify the choices that you may face, assist you to record your decisions and do our best to ensure that your wishes are fulfilled, wherever possible, by all those who offer you care and support.
4) Talk with you and the people who are important to you about your future needs. We will do this as often as you feel the need, so that you can all understand and prepare for everything that is likely to happen.
5) Endeavor to ensure clear written communication of your needs and wishes to those who offer you care and support both within and outside of our surgery hours.
6) Do our utmost to ensure that your remaining days and nights are as comfortable as possible, and that you receive all the particular specialist care and emotional and spiritual support that you need.
7) Do all we can to help you preserve your independence, dignity and sense of personal control throughout the course of your illness.
8) Support the people who are important to you, both as you approach the end of life and during their bereavement.
Our comment would be that it is much better to have your family in charge in situations where you are not up to make decisions or chasing things up, and having a Lasting Power of Attorney Health and Welfare is the best preparation for an unexpected emergency.