Over the many years that the Academy and its clinicians have been providing aid-in-dying care, we have found that having an experienced attendant at the bedside, in the days before and during the aid-in-dying procedure, is crucial.
- Patients who have knowledgeable attendants have more peaceful deaths, and their loved ones have less complicated grief. Having a trained, knowledgeable person throughout the process and at the bedside helps prevent complications, frees loved ones from having to take on this complex clinical role, and ensures that patients safely have the peaceful death they so deeply desire. The preparations and procedures around aid in dying can be complex and more easily managed by a knowledgeable clinician, rather than a stressed-out but well-intentioned loved one. And, well supported loved ones who don’t have to manage medications or make clinical decisions, can keep their attentions on each other more fully during these tender moments.
- There are many trained professionals who can help provide this care. Ask your prescribing doctor about their availability to attend. Also, be sure to ask your hospice if they allow their nurses and other staff to be present. Hospices have a wide variety of policies, so be sure to ask specifically about what their staff can and can’t do to support you and your loved ones.
- There are also end-of-life doulas experienced with aid-in-dying care who provide this service.
- Many states have trained volunteers who can be there for this important day.
If your hospice staff or doctors cannot attend on your aid-in-dying-day, or if you feel you need further support, fill out the form below for a referral to an Academy-trained and verified bedside attendant.