We have produced a practical guide with the British Institute of Human Rights to address the challenges associated with ethical decision making at end-of-life. Despite recommendations from the Francis Report, we continue to hear about poor experience of end-of-life care and a significant number of acute hospitals continue to fail this aspect of inspection.
We believe a human rights approach to end-of-life care not only meets our legal duty to comply with the Human Rights Act but also addresses the learnings from the Francis Inquiry and the failings of the Liverpool Care Pathway. Being treated with dignity and respect at end of life is central to the Five Priorities for Care (DH 2014) and the NICE Quality Standard (2015). The Care Quality Commission utilise a Human Rights Approach to the regulation of services, with particular reference to the right to life and the rights of staff and they also plan to utilise human rights within the assessment framework.
The guide, ‘A Human Rights Approach to End of Life Care’, was written to help individuals feel confident to embrace human rights as an integral component to end of life care. The use of flowcharts and colour encourages readers to dip in and out of specific topics. We aim to develop this learning resource further by delivering face to face training sessions. We will use case scenarios to build on existing knowledge and experience and encourage open discussion and debate to embed key principles, aid decision making, and effect change and ensure compassion and dignity are at the heart of personalised care. A formal evaluation study will be undertaken to measure outcomes. On completion, we expect learners to be empowered to deliver sustainable improvements in care and transfer learning to practice.
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