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MP Survey for Marie Curie Cancer Care

Survey of MPs on end-of-life care conducted for Marie Curie Cancer Care published 3 December 2010

Date Published: 03 Dec 2010

Categories: Health | Policy Makers | Politics | Social | UK



Eighty-seven per cent of MPs believe that people should have the right to choose where they die according to research published today by end-of-life care charity Marie Curie Cancer Care. Almost the same proportions of MPs (86%) say this will only be possible with more community nursing care, particularly out-of-hours.

Other research has shown that around two thirds of people would choose to die at home if they had a terminal illness. However, more than half of deaths still happen in hospital, the place people say they would least like to be when they die.

With a rapidly aging population, demand for end-of-life care is likely to rise significantly in coming years. Ninety-seven per cent of the MPs surveyed said that the way a society looks after people at the end of their lives is a good measure of the standards of that society.
Marie Curie Nurses provide free end-of-life care to people with terminal cancer and other illnesses in their own homes.

Steve Dewar, the charity’s Director of Research and Innovation, says:  “End-of-life care can be anything from a nurse coming to ensure good pain control to relieving families of their immediate worries and preventing unnecessary admission to hospital. It can make all the difference between a good death and a bad death. Everyone should have the right to die in their place of choice, but we can't make this a reality unless 24-hour community nursing care is consistently available. If we as a community are really committed to caring for the dying, the need for good nursing care around the clock needs to be acknowledged and addressed as a matter of urgency. We’re very encouraged to see such overwhelming support from MPs on this vital issue.”

Marie Curie Cancer Care campaigns for everyone to be able to make the choice to be cared for and die in their place of choice. The charity employs more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to provide expert care and support to around 32,000 terminally ill people in the community every year.

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