A Good Death

Friends at the End work to ensure that people have a good death within the current legal framework.

56,000 people die In Scotland every year of these 70% are over the age of 70, one in three die of cancer, one in three will die from organ failure and one in three of us will die with dementia and/or because we get old and frail.

A good death can, and should, mean different things to different people. To many it is one where the transition from life to death is seamless, painless and free from stress.

Achieving the death that you want can involve:

  • being in an intensive care unit, getting various life-sustaining therapies,
  • being at home, surrounded by family,
  • being in a hospice receiving excellent palliative care

There are however some common threads which seem to be woven to the idea of a ‘Good Death’.

  • Having affairs in order – funeral/memorial/burial/cremation plans, final medical care specified (Advanced Care Planning), having a proxy/power of attorney for health and finance appointed, financial commitments tied up, updated will so your estate is distributed the way you want it to be.
  • Controlled pain/discomfort
  • Cared for by chosen people – doctors, nurses, home carers or family/friends
  • Being in a place of your choosing – home, care home, hospital, special place with happy memories
  • Mindful/respectful care: to be treated as a live human being until the moment you die
  • Not being alone
  • Favourite activities or objects: the tangible and intangible things that would be most pleasing and comforting in your final days: favourite music or readings, photographs of happy/memorable occasions, a vase of flowers, a back rub or foot massage, being surrounded by loved ones in quiet conversation