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Let people die at home, say MPs

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People should have the right to die at home if they choose to, says a study by the Commons Public Accounts Committee.

It says: ‘Most people express a preference to die at home, but 60% do so in an acute hospital, even when there is no clinical need for them to be there.’

‘People should have the right to die in the place of their choice,’ it says. It cited care homes, which may not be equipped to look after dying people and which refuse to take residents back after a hospital stay.

The report blames ‘generally poor’ co-ordination between health and social services for the fact that end-of-life care for patients suffering from devastating conditions such as cancer is geared towards their remaining in hospital.

Figures show that of the half a million people a year who die in England, three-quarters do so after a chronic illness such as cancer or heart disease.

But only 35% end their lives among family and friends or at a care home, while most of the rest die in acute hospitals.

To read the report, see the attached file.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • while I whole heartedly agree that people should have the choice to die at home but it is essential to provide the backup in the community. End of life care is often complex and not all patients have family or carer support. If the care provided is not adequate then people will end up back in hospital/ hospice because they can't cope rather than their true choice of place of death. I worry that the Government MP's decree these ideas and they get pushed through without enough resources in place becuause they don't have understand what is involved.

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