Today we appeared as a witness before the Joint Committee on Assisted Dying to discuss the topic of ensuring access to palliative care and social supports.
Since the Committee commenced its work in April, we have called for the opportunity to inform and contribute to this important debate on assisted dying. Our evidence to the Committee sets out the current experience of dying and death in Ireland and the provision of bereavement supports. We outline the current enablers and obstacles people face in terms of a good death, in particular access to the right supports and care in the right place and at the right time. We also proposed our key recommendations for much needed improvements in the provision and resourcing of end-of-life and bereavement care in Ireland.
Paula Reilly, CEO of Irish Hospice Foundation, said:
It is our view that to support people to die and grieve well and to have the death they wish for, there are fundamental structures and investments needed to improve services, information, access, conversations, and knowledge around dying, death and bereavement currently in Ireland.
The recommendations we present offer real opportunities for the Committee to highlight in their final report areas that require investment and improvements in end-of-life and bereavement care. These are recommendations that apply regardless of how a person is supported to die in Ireland or whether the Committee recommends legislating for change in this area.