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The right to refuse treatment is crucial for patient choice at the end of life

The BBC documentary Between Life and
confronts some difficult questions about end of life
decision-making. It highlights the importance of the patient being in
control of end-of-life decisions where possible, whether it’s a decision to
withdraw life-sustaining treatment, or to maintain it. The right for a
patient to choose to continue to be treated when they require life support
should be respected where possible, as in the case of Mr Rudd, but this is in
no way at odds with the right of patients to make legally binding Advance
Decisions to refuse treatment at the end of life if they wish. The right
to refuse life-sustaining treatment is fundamentally important to patients
being at the centre of their care, and is crucial in the progression of choice
and control at the end of life.

Notes to

About Dignity in Dying:

· Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control
and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally
ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal
safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.

· Dignity in Dying has over 25,000 supporters and
receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

· The British Social Attitudes Survey 2010 found that
92% of non-religious and 71% of religious people support assisted dying.
This relates to overall support of 82%.

Compassion in Dying

Compassion in Dying provides Advance
Decisions free of charge at:


For all media enquiries, please contact
Jo Cartwright on 020 7479 7737 / 07725433025 or at