About our work
For over 17 years, Friends at the End has worked to promote knowledge about end of life choices and campaigned to see a change in the law to allow Assisted Dying.
We have supported hundreds of people through the end of their lives and been involved with the preparation of two parliamentary Bills in Scotland.
Our long term aim is to see the passing of Assisted Dying legislation, until this happens we will work to ensure that every UK citizen has a Good Death within the current legal framework.
What we support
Friends at the End believe that medically Assisted Dying should be available to all mentally competent adults with either a terminal illness or an incurable condition, causing hopeless and unbearable suffering with no reasonable alternative to relieve it, provided this is their own persistent request.
The work we do
- Provide reliable and up to date information and advice on the campaign for Assisted Dying. Using our wealth of knowledge and contacts internationally to take this work forward.
- Produce leaflets and literature
- Provide legal advice on legislation, we helped MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament bring forward two Bills
- Support legal cases taken forward by individuals including Paul Lamb, Gordon Ross and Omid T
- Sponsor to the Cross Party Group on End of Life Choices at the Scottish Parliament
- Invest in academic research to find a ‘Scotland specific’ solution to this problem.
- Facilitate local campaigning groups
- Raise awareness with the public around end of life issues
- Support our members and the general public to have a good end of life within the current legal framework
- Provide comfort and support to those distressed at the end of their life
What we aren’t campaigning for
Friends at the End do not advocate for Euthanasia and support Assisted Dying only. Assisted Dying is where the act is the individuals own, either by the person self-administering by swallowing the drug or pressing a button to allow flow via a drip. This self ingestion is the last consent and shows, again, the voluntariness that is absolutely necessary to highlight that this is the individual’s choice and nobody else’s.
Euthanasia, on the other hand is where a third party (usually a doctor) takes a deliberate action with the express intention of ending a life.
Our policy advocates allowing medically assisted dying for all mentally competent adults with either a terminal illness or an incurable condition causing hopeless and unbearable suffering with no reasonable alternative to relieve it, provided this is their own persistent request. Doctor administered dying is not something that we promote.
Some jurisdictions around the world have introduced assisted suicide and euthanasia laws. Parliaments in these countries passed these laws because they thought they were the right laws for their country. We believe an Assisted Dying law is the right law for the UK.
Assisted dying has worked safely in Oregon, USA, since 1997. Many other US States have followed Oregon’s example and have introduced similar laws. There have been no cases of abuse of assisted dying in the USA.
As well as campaigning to change the law on Assisted Dying we also support better end-of-life care which is accessible to all. We do not propose assisted dying to be an alternative to good quality end-of-life care, the two must go hand in hand.