Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has urged people to prepare for their death – and discuss it with family and friends.
The Fine Gael leader made the remarks at the Dublin Forum on End of Life conference in the capital.
Kenny urged delegates to ‘think about, prepare for and discuss’ their eventual death in a keynote speech,
He told the conference that: “Preparing for the end of life, difficult as it is to contemplate, helps avoid shock and confusion, and brings with it the capacity to reflect.
“Thinking ahead brings choice and a sense of dignity to death.”
Utilizing the campaign’s motto, Kenny told those present to ‘think, talk and tell’ as launched the Think Ahead initiative.
The forum was organized by the Irish Hospice Foundation as they launched a campaign to encourage the public to prepare for death by completing a Think Ahead form which can now be downloaded at www.thinkahead.ie.
The Dublin forum attracted 350 delegates including professionals from the health and legal sectors, carers and undertakers and members of the public.
Chairperson Justice Catherine McGuinness said: “The primary role of Think Ahead is to guide people in organizing their thoughts and give them a resource that they can use to help them discuss sensitive issues with family, friends or carers.”
“People have the right to have a say in their care at all times of life including end of life but they also have the responsibility to let other people know of their decisions.”
The forum heard that 27,144 people died in Ireland last year with almost half, 48 per cent, dying in acute hospital situations.