Dying With Dignity Matters


This week a report has been released by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman titled 'Dying without Dignity'. The report sadly details that end of life care in the UK is not only falling short, it is subjecting people to unnecessary suffering at the end of their lives.

Remembering those who have suffered

The week is also Dying Matters Awareness Week, supported by Dying Matters, a charity that raises awareness for enabling people to talk openly about end of life planning, death and bereavement.

Unnecessary Pain and Distress

Dame Julie Mellor, who headed the report, found that too many people were dying without dignity and that end of life care needed to be improved for around 350,000 people every year.

The report included some examples of failures in end of life care, for instance, a hospital failed to administer pain relief to a 29 year old, leaving him to suffer for over 11 hours. Another patient endured 14 painful attempts to have a drip reinserted in the hours before his death.

Having More Choice

The findings of the reports show that more needs to be done not only with regards to improving quality of care, but also in protecting people's wishes for their end of life care.

Macmillan, a charity that specialise in cancer care, have responded to the report by asking the Government to carefully consider reforming social care. They say "it will allow people their dying wish to stay at home, as well as reduce expensive, unnecessary admissions to hospital."

This just shows that the government needs to respond to the demand for individuals to have greater control over their end of life care. This could see less people subjected to negligent care in hospitals, and being able to spend their last days at home.

Get Involved

Dying Matters are encouraging people to use the hashtag #YODO, which means 'You Only Die Once', to get people talking about how we can plan for the end of our lives. Lots of events are being held over the week for people to get involved in. For example, in Birmingham 'A Natural Undertaking', local undertakers, are hosting an event to get people talking about planning ahead. You can also visit your local 'Death Café', which is a space for people to discuss death and end of life plans over tea and cake.

Get in Touch

Reports like this show that too many people are losing control over how they spend the end of their life, and are suffering needlessly due to the negligence of medical professionals. If you feel that your loved one was subjected to negligent medical care at the end of their life, you may wish to get legal advice.

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