New guidance for doctors, “Treatment and care towards the end of life: good practice in decision making” has been published by the GMC.
The BMA has been involved with the development of this guidance and we support it. How best to care for individuals at the end of life is one of the most complex areas in medicine and it is essential that clear guidance is in place to assist doctors to act in the best interests of their patients.
The emphasis on advance care planning discussions with patients is to be welcomed, taking onboard their wishes and preferences and subsequently delivering quality care partnered with these choices.
The guidance highlights the importance of good communication, and is clear about the need to work with the patient or where appropriate their relatives or advocate to ensure that they are treated fairly, with dignity and without prejudice.
It will also be invaluable for patients and their relatives who need the reassurance of readily accessible information about what to expect in the very anxious period at the end of a person's life.
The guidance and supporting materials are available on the GMC website here.