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Make a will, urges Baroness Finlay

Speaking on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning, Baroness Finlay said everyone should make a will. Her private member's bill Access to Palliative Care is making its way through the Lords at the moment aimed at ensuring that the excellent palliative care (no 1 in the world according to today's survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit) offered in most parts of Britain is extended to everyone who needs it. As the Baroness says, disease does not respect time, geography or the clock. But she also urges individuals to make their own plans for what care they would like to receive and to make a will, consider organ donation and have their own say in what happens to them.

I have attended a number of death beds in hospices and hospital recently, and seen how desperately people who are dying want to put their affairs in order. But the timing puts a lots of extra stress on them and their families. I second Baroness Finlay; make a will, make lasting powers of attorney, decide on what you want for your funeral and do it all in good time. Whilst good palliative care for everyone may still be a little way off, everyone has the opportunity to make their will now.