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Palliative care

Principles for a good death:

  • Be able to know when death is coming and understand what can be expected
  • Be able to retain control of what happens
  • Be afforded dignity and privacy
  • Have control over pain relief and other symptoms
  • Have choice and control over where death occurs
  • Have access to any spiritual and emotional support required
  • Have access to information and expertise of whatever kind is necessary
  • Have access to hospice care in any location, not only in hospital
  • Have control over who is present and who shares the end
  • Be able to issue advance directives which make sure wishes are respected
  • Have time to say goodbye and control over other aspects of timing
  • Be able to leave when it is time to go and not have life prolonged pointlessly

 ‘Not Dead Yet’ by Julia Neuberger in 2008

Originally published by Age Concern in 2000 for the Millenium Debate of the Age.


Click here to view All Hands on Deck

(see reference to 'Dying well' on page 6)


Click here to view the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway


Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief - 11 new leaflets available to download


Author/editor: Marie de Hennzel
Title: Intimate Death: How the dying teach us to live
Year: 1997
Publisher: Little Brown

Author/editor: Elizabeth MacKinlay
Title: Aging, Spirituality and Palliative Care
Year: 2006
Publisher: The Haworth Pastoral Press

A collection of presentation papers from the Third International Conference on Ageing & Spirituality in Adelaide Australia in 2004.

Soul Midwives

click here to visit the soul midwives website

The 12 Principles of Soul Midwifery

  1. To work as non-medical holistic companions who guide and support a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death.
  2. To support and recognise the individual needs of the dying person and ensure they feel loved and supported.
  3. To create and hold a sacred and healing space for the dying person (whether in a hospital, a hospice or at home).
  4. To respect and honour a dying person’s religious/spiritual or atheist/agnostic beliefs and practices.
  5. To work as non-denominational, multi-faith practitioners who honour the dying person’s beliefs about life, death or the afterlife.
  6. To listen, provide gentle therapeutic techniques, and ensure compassionate care at all times.
  7. To ‘serve’ our friend; not aim to ‘fix’ or ‘rescue’.
  8. To give healing, using sound, touch, colour, scented oils or other gentle techniques to alleviate pain and anxiety.
  9. To keep a loving vigil.
  10. To work holistically with the spirit and soul of our friends at all levels and stages of transition.
  11. To support families and their loved ones, giving loving care with a human touch
  12. To provide comfort, continuous support and reassurance in helping a dying person to experience the death he or she wants.

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