Later life care

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News that the Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill has been defeated in the Scottish Parliament is no doubt a disappointment for campaigners hoping for success the second time around.

However, the ruling has reignited the debate on how best to address the numerous concerns faced by individuals and their families when a loved one is nearing the end of their life.

Attitudes to death and dying are undoubtedly changing and more and more people are now taking control of a difficult and sensitive situation by forward planning.

This includes making preparations to minimise care or inheritance tax costs for loved ones, pre-paying and planning for funerals and the creation of living wills.

Putting in place a living will, also known as an advance medical directive, is an option that everyone should seriously consider as it allows people to record their wishes about future medical treatment should you be unable to communicate those wishes later on.

It’s heartening that more open and frank discussions are taking place, in public forums, about end of life care.

However, it’s an issue that people need to consider thoroughly and, if necessary, take expert advice from someone who specialises in planning for later life.

Tessa Till

Pagan Osborne

George Street

Edinburgh