Friday, March 20, 2009

End of Life Ireland

On 11 March, Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, officially opened a year-long Forum on End of Life in Ireland. The Forum, which is described as a ‘listening process’, operates under the auspices of the Irish Hospice Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organisation that promotes the hospice philosophy and supports the development of hospice/palliative care. The philosophy is that no one should have to face death or bereavement without appropriate care and support.

The stated aim of the Forum is to develop a vision of how Ireland can address the challenges involved in death and bereavement, and how to ‘ensure that a systematic quality approach exists within all public services to facilitate a good death when it is expected, or can be predicted, and supportive systems are in place for when death occurs unexpectedly or traumatically.’ Prior to the launch of the Forum, interested persons, and groups were invited to make a submission on end-of-life issues, and it is an indication of the interest that exists in this subject that hundreds of people attended the launch of the project.