Choice at the end of life: Current practice and overseas developments


Friday 9 February 2018

Half Day

Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

RSM Professionals


CPD - Applied for

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about this event

The aim of this event is to explore how the concept of choice sits within current end-of-life practice and to question whether or not assisted dying is complementary or contradictory to the notion of person-centred care. The event hopes to bring together key figures from many sides of these important issues.

Recently there has been a cultural shift away from paternalism and towards the empowerment of patients to make decisions about their own care. Nowhere is this change more pertinent than at end of life.

Palliative medicine has always led the way in treating people as individuals and we can now see this being embedded in other specialisms. Despite the uptake of planning tools such as Advance Decisions and Lasting Powers of Attorney being low, campaigns to encourage the public to think about and plan for their own death are growing.

Click here to read more about the event.

Join the discussion online with #RSMDyingForChoice
Find us at @RoySocMed, click here to tweet.

*Programme subject to change.


12.45 pm

Registration, tea and coffee

1.20 pm

Welcome and introduction

Professor Roger Kirby, Chairman of Academic Board, Royal Society of Medicine

Setting the scene: Personal perspectives on facing death

Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal Society of Medicine

1.30 pm

The right to die, legal frameworks and the basic humanity of medicine - a personal view

Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director, Public Health England

1.40 pm

We had to go to Switzerland

Mr Tony Wicks, Retired Engineer

1.50 pm

When Dignitas isn’t an option

Mrs Julie Smith, Enterprise and Employability Manager, Secondary Academy

2.00 pm

What can we learn from Coroners’ investigations into suicides amongst dying people?

Ms Karen Harrold, Assistant Coroner, Hampshire and West Sussex

2.10 pm

Panel discussion

2.25 pm

Assisting terminally ill patients to hasten death: What medical aid-in-dying looks like in practice

Dr Catherine Sonquist Forest, MD MPH, Family Medicine Physician, Los Altos, California and Clinical Associate Professor, Medicine - Primary Care And Population Health, Stanford School of Medicine

2.55 pm

Title to be confirmed

Ms Juliet Marlow, Representative, Not Dead Yet UK

3.15 pm

Panel discussion

3.40 pm

Tea and coffee break

Serving patients better

Professor Clare Gerada, Medical Director, NHS Practitioner Health Programme and Former Chair, Royal College of General Practitioners

4.10 pm

Ensuring good management of symptoms and suffering

Professor Rob George, Medical Director, St Christopher's Hospice and Professor Palliative Care, Cicely Saunders Institute, King's College London

4.20 pm

Rejection, integration or collaboration? Palliative care and assisted dying

Professor David Clark, Wellcome Trust Investigator, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Dumfries Campus, University of Glasgow

4.30 pm

When patients lack capacity to make choices for themselves: Ensuring person-centred decisions

Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Co-Director, Coma and Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, JOMEC, Cardiff University

4.40 pm

Patients' choices, best interests, and the courts

Victoria Butler-Cole, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers and Chair of Trustees, Compassion in Dying

4.50 pm

Panel discussion

The future legal framework: How to make it work in practice

Lord Michael Wills, House of Lords

5.10 pm

Offering both hospice care and assisted dying from among the options on the end of life continuum of care

Mark Jarman-Howe, Hospice Chief Executive and Director, Dignity in Dying

5.20 pm

Legal protection for doctors

Professor Sir Terence Stephenson, Chair, General Medical Council

5.30 pm

The role of the Crown Prosecution Service and the courts

Mr Simon Ringrose, Unit Head, Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division, Crown Prosecution Service

5.45 pm

The role of palliative care professionals

6.00 pm

Panel discussion

6.20 pm

Conclusions - where next?

Professor Gillian Leng, Deputy Chief Executive, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

6.30 pm

Drinks reception and close of meeting

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For information on this event, contact Tel: 020 7290 3941 Email: arrow