• Care at the end of life: how policy and the law support practice

      Brown, Michelle; Vaughan, Carol; University of Derby (Mark Allen Healthcare, 2013-08-16)
      The End of Life Care Strategy was introduced in an attempt to achieve a high standard of care for patients nearing the end of life and to improve carer experience. This high standard should not depend on socioeconomic status, geographical location or diagnosis. It was to ensure that individuals felt supported, informed and empowered, and that symptoms and issues were managed by experienced staff who employ evidenced-based practice. In addition, the service provision should involve a multidisciplinary team and have the patient at the centre of all decision-making. This would be facilitated by endorsing the use of end-of-life care pathways. These recommendations are further supported by frameworks and policies, for example the Preferred Priorities for Care Gold Standards Framework in Primary Care. Health professionals must also be cognisant of the legal frameworks that protect patients and facilitate their rights to exert their autonomy, for example the Mental Capacity Act and advanced directives. The issues surrounding care at the end of life with respect to legal frameworks alongside ethical and moral dilemmas will be further explored within this discussion paper.