Azara Blog: People should be allowed to die at home

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Date published: 2007/11/22

The BBC says:

The NHS must put more resources into enabling the terminally ill to die at home, a leading cancer charity says.

Marie Curie Cancer Care says a pilot scheme carried out in Lincolnshire, in which people were offered the choice, saw home deaths increase dramatically.

The charity also says the cost of care went down as a result.

The government's cancer tsar hailed the scheme, and said he hoped key features would be incorporated into a new end of life strategy currently being drawn up.

While everyone can ask to die at home, resources do not always permit this. An estimated 64% of patients want to, but in reality only 25% do so.

Four percent want to die in hospital, but in fact 47% do so, the charity says.

Has the BBC ever started an article which spins the message of some special interest pressure group about the NHS which hasn't included the immortal words "the NHS must put more resources into XYZ"? And to boot, the article completely contradicts itself from one paragraph to the next. So first we learn that this scheme made the "cost of care" go down, then we learn that "resources do not always permit" people to die at home. So something clearly does not add up. And one of the problems with any pilot scheme is that the people behind the proposal have an even bigger incentive than normal to claim that the scheme is a success, so one has to take any such claim with a pinch of salt.

But of course people should be allowed to die at home. And people should also be allowed to choose when and how they die. Power should be taken away from control freak doctors.

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