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Effective end-of-life care planning in Scotland: culture and law.

Christie, Sarah



In the context of an ageing population, end-of-life care planning is increasingly important. The law in Scotland does not, as yet, take the active and specific steps to help address this that are evident in other jurisdictions. I contend that there are two particular issues which need to be addressed here: normalising the idea of a discussion about dying, such that individuals feel entitled to discuss and plan for it by way of an advance directive, feel that it is a valuable exercise, and feel reassured that their plans will not falter if they lose capacity; and formulating an approach which prompts and encourages that discussion, but also promotes autonomous decision-making. I assert that the law can, and should help with this by providing a legislative basis for advance directives in order to set out the requirements for formal validity, and by making provision for an allied, non-mandatory pro-forma to guide and assist those who wish to use it.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 31, 2017
Journal Journal of medical law and ethics
Print ISSN 2213-5405
Electronic ISSN 2214-5354
Publisher Paris Legal Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 1-16
Institution Citation CHRISTIE, S. 2017. Effective end-of-life care planning in Scotland: culture and law. Journal of medical law and ethics (online), 5(1), pages 1-16. Available from:
Keywords Advance directives; End of life care; Advance care planning


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