Death discussions ‘taboo’ for many in UK, survey finds

BBC News reports 12th May 2014: Death discussions ‘taboo’ for many in UK, survey finds

Where health is concerned we often get what we deserve both as families and as individuals. If people are not prepared to plan they will have a prolonged death, and more death duties…. Should there be a reward for making and registering an advanced directive?

Discussing dying and making end of life plans remain taboo for many people across the UK, a survey suggests.

The poll of 2,000 adults for the Dying Matters Coalition of care organisations indicates that only 21% of people have discussed their end of life wishes.

Only a third said they had written a will and just 29% had let loved ones know of their funeral wishes.

The findings are being released at the start of the Dying Matters Coalition’s annual awareness initiative.

The coalition was set up by the National Council for Palliative Care in 2009.

The chief executive of both organisations, Claire Henry, said: “Dying is one of life’s few certainties, but many of us appear to be avoiding discussing it or in denial altogether.

“Talking more openly about dying and planning ahead is in everyone’s interests.”

‘Fear of the unknown’

The survey also suggests about four fifths of the public believe people are uncomfortable discussing dying and death.

And 51% of respondents said they had not made their partner aware of their end of life wishes….

Palliative and Terminal Care should be fully funded.

An advanced directive or living will – It’s important to specify, especially lying flat. Good news if you take action.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Community Health Councils, Patient representatives, Political Representatives and activists, Retired, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

4 thoughts on “Death discussions ‘taboo’ for many in UK, survey finds

  1. Pingback: NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  2. Pingback: The NHS and ‘cradle to the grave’ | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  3. Pingback: ‘Do not resuscitate’ is doctors’ own choice for end-of-life care – but perish the thought to educate patients! | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  4. Pingback: GPs back the right to die for terminally ill | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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