At last, choice is on the way for those not wanting resuscitation

I was very heartened to read yesterday’s Daily Telegraph’s piece, Emergency staff to be told if you want to live or die. Backed by health minister Simon Burns, the Government is now keen for electronic records to be shared by paramedics and out-of-hours GPs, which will give seriously ill people the choice of whether they wish to … More At last, choice is on the way for those not wanting resuscitation

Talking on Woman’s Hour: Facing the Fear and Doing it Anyway

Taking part in a discussion with eldercare campaigner Marion Shoard on Woman’s Hour yesterday was one of the scarier moments of my life.  Almost as bad as flying in an aeroplane (which for me tips over into miserable experience).  But I had the same heart rate going through the roof. Same wanting to throw up. Same throat muscles … More Talking on Woman’s Hour: Facing the Fear and Doing it Anyway

Terry Pratchett’s courageous odyssey into assisted suicide

It was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch Terry Pratchett’s BBC 2 documentary (if you can call it that) ‘Choosing to Die’ last night on catch-up. Trepidation, because the deaths I have witnessed as a nurse, and sitting with both my mother and father as they died, are not about the ‘gentle … More Terry Pratchett’s courageous odyssey into assisted suicide

Why are we Brits so poor at talking about dying?

A recent survey commissioned by the Dying Matters Coalition (set up by the National Council of Palliative Care to promote betters ways to talk about end of life issues) says that ‘death is still a taboo subject for Brits.’ Shockingly, it found that only 16% of us told relatives or next-of-kin where we would like to die, … More Why are we Brits so poor at talking about dying?

The Royal Wedding and the death of bin Laden. What’s next?

I loved the royal wedding last Friday. A truly magical occasion, and – rare these days, sadly – I felt proud to be British. Egged on by my friend Meg, resplendent in a mother-of-the-groom frock she wore to her own son’s nuptials  a few years back, I was very happy to enter into the spirit of the … More The Royal Wedding and the death of bin Laden. What’s next?