Calls to give patients the right to choose where they receive end-of-life care have been rejected by the House of Commons.
Shadow communities secretary Caroline Spelman said that all patients suffering from an advanced or terminal illness should be able to choose to receive care away from hospital.
But the Government opposed her Palliative Care Bill, saying it would be wrong to raise expectations with patients when the services were not available.
Health minister Dawn Primarolo said that the Government’s End of Life Care Strategy would give people more choice over their place of death, but hospital trusts were ‘not yet in a position’ to deliver the full range of options.
Ms Spelman argued that the money spent keeping someone in an acute hospital ward should ‘follow the patient’ rather than being ‘tied to the bed’ as research shows that most terminally ill people want to die at home.
Despite this, the Bill was defeated by 26 votes to 13.