Friends at the End is an organisation committed to promoting knowledge about end-of-life choices.
Death comes eventually to all of us & most people want to be allowed to die quietly & easily but unfortunately the dying process often means a lot of pain & distress to ourselves & to those around us.
Friends at the End meet in Glasgow on Saturday afternoons three times a year with a wide variety of speakers, sometimes doctors, nurses, health care professionals, sometimes speakers with a personal experience to relate. The gatherings are very friendly & relaxed, & question-time is always lively.
We have a Newsletter full of topical information of interest & full reports of our meetings & activities. Readers are welcome to write about any issues surrounding a good & peaceful death.
Friends at the End is an educational & caring society which maintains that each of us is entitled to a personal choice.
- to promote knowledge about end-of-life choices & dignified death
- to support those concerned about end-of-life choices & dignified death & to support those suffering from distress, especially that associated with the end of life
- to advance medical education relevant to the processes of death & terminal illnesses
- in furtherance thereof to fund research into the causes, cures & prevention of distress in the dying & those caring for them, & to publicly disseminate the outcome of such research
- to act along with others in pursuit of the above
THE FACTS OF DEATH
In literature many people die serenely in bed surrounded by their loved ones, or suddenly as if felled by a blow. The reality is often very different. Unless a massive stroke or other sudden event carries us off, we are most likely to suffer at the very least from double incontinence, vomiting, & other conditions which are repellent to ourselves & to others.
Within a medical framework death is often seen as a failure by medical practitioners & a struggle goes on to postpone death as long as possible whatever the embarrassment & suffering. Often sedation is used instead of painkillers & even hospices do not always understand that the patient would prefer not to endure the last hours, days, weeks or, even, months provided by modern medicine.
SOME OF OUR ACTIVITIES
- We provide speakers for secondary school classes in ethics & for any other gatherings.
- We have a supply of leaflets on many topics.
- We offer advice on Living Wills (also called Advance Directives) with sample forms.
- We provide information on Scottish Welfare Powers of Attorney.
- We have sample forms of Do Not Attempt Resuscitation for those who want it.
- We provide information on NHS Trusts' policies on Living Wills & Do Not Attempt Resuscitation instructions.
- We provide an advice & counselling service for those suffering distress caring for the dying.
MEMBERSHIP OF FRIENDS AT THE END
- Our members range in age from as young as 22 to some over 90 years old.
- Names & addresses of members are totally confidential confined strictly to the elected Council.
- Members receive notice of our meetings held, usually, in October, February & May.
- Members receive a copy of the four-monthly Newsletter which always covers a report of our meetings for those who are unable to attend.
- Members have access to a great deal of advice & information on all aspects surrounding end of life.
- The Society has a collection of books & videos available for members to borrow.
- Over the last few years there have been an increasing number of public debates on the subject of voluntary euthanasia & physician-assisted suicide.
- Books written by health professionals involved with life & death issues providing an insight into the practicalities of caring for patients, both physically & emotionally, are available on loan.
- Non-members who would like to be invited to our open meetings, please let us know.