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Terminally ill willing to discuss death

Published 8:10am Monday, August 12, 2013

Many years ago, I found an anonymous quote that I liked so much I memorized it.
The quote is, “Imagine how important death must be to have a prerequisite such as life.”
For those of us who have attended the death of a loved one or patient, that quote makes a great deal of common sense, and can make the death a little less painful.

The reason I bring that up is because too many families and doctors of terminally ill patients, and extremely elderly people are fearful of bringing up the topic of death and dying, and particularly where that person would prefer to be spending his final days at the end of his or her life.

What makes that statement somewhat sad is that the reality of many of those situations is that people facing death are far more comfortable discussing their concerns and wishes than are those people in positions of caring for them.

In a study done a few years ago in the UK and published in British Medical Journal Supportive and Palliative Care, it was reported that of the 1,127 patients who were under the excellent care of a the Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh, 77 percent of them were willing to discuss their preferences for where they wanted to die.

As you’d expect, most of us would prefer to die at home, and very few, less than 1percent would choose to be in a hospital when they died.

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