MSP's bill to give 'good death'

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MOVES to make health boards provide end-of-life care for all patients have been launched at the Scottish Parliament.

SNP backbencher Gil Paterson has put forward proposals that aim to secure high-quality palliative care for all those who require it. At the moment 90 per cent of cancer patients are believed to benefit from such services, but many with other conditions miss out.

If passed, the Palliative Care (Scotland) Bill would mean health boards had a legal duty to provide palliative care to all patients, putting the aims of the Scottish Government's "Living and Dying Well" strategy on a statutory footing.

Yesterday Mr Paterson said he did not have a figure for how much it would cost the NHS.

But he said: "Our consultation drew over 100 responses, with a clear majority for a new law that will place NHS boards under a statutory obligation to provide high quality palliative care and set up reporting arrangements so quality can be monitored."

Mr Paterson said his proposals, if implemented, would enable those with terminal diseases to have a "good death".

He argued that at present, levels of palliative care varied in different areas. He also said sufferers of some conditions benefited from a greater degree of palliative care than others.

"This bill is setting out to lift the level for other people who are suffering from other illnesses that are going to lead to their deaths."