Our current situation with Covid -19 raises many fears and anxieties about our future and that for our friends and families. We are concerned about the impact of the virus itself but also what it means to us as a society in making decisions about what activities we can do, how care and resources will be made available, what choices are health and social care staff being asked to make and how policy guidance is developed. We are given a lot of information, but it does not always instil confidence.
At the heart of it all is the commitment to human rights in Scotland and in recent days this has been underlined by our Government Ministers as well as AGE Scotland and Scottish Care which strongly emphasise that the right to treatment should not be based solely or mainly on someone’s age. Donald Macaskill, Scottish Care, expressed concern that the recently produced guidance from the Scottish Government failed to clarify the criteria on which decisions for care or resuscitation would be made. These are critical decisions for us as individuals as well as government and we need to consider them carefully with our families.
In these circumstances having an advance care plan as to how we wish to be treated is vitally important should we contract Coronovirus and then have little contact with our family or friends about our wishes. We should do this anyway irrespective of the pressure of the current situation so that we are content with our wishes and that they have been fully set out and understood and that we have had these conversations with our family so that everyone has peace of mind.
We must be confident that we are not discriminated against because of our age or disability and that our wishes are clearly stated in relation to our future care. Our human rights responsibilities must remain core to everyone’s actions.
Director, Faith in Older People
Links: Scottish Government – Guidance on Ethical Issues
Why advanced care planning is important; visit the Marie Curie Website
Marie Curie also has a helpline which is open 7 days a week 0800 090 2309