By avoiding the topic of death, we remain unprepared for leaving at the end of life

By avoiding the topic of death, we remain unprepared for leaving at the end of life
By avoiding the topic of death, we remain unprepared for leaving at the end of life

Death is still a sensitive topic that many find it uncomfortable to discuss, and our tendency to avoid this topic makes people not look for answers about death and dying.

A new report from the Academy of Medical Sciences highlights how little the general public knows about the last hours of a person's life.

The report is part of a UK national campaign that hopes to raise awareness of death and ensure that healthcare providers understand the priorities and concerns of the public when it comes to ending life care.

The Academy of Health Sciences, in partnership with UK market research firm Ipsos MORI, surveyed 966 adults aged 18 and over.

Surprisingly, only 612 participants decided to answer the survey, which was conducted through face-to-face interviews.

Six out of ten respondents admitted that they know very little about the last hours of life, although every second person said that he was present at the death of someone else.

“Not knowing what can happen to a loved one when they die can exacerbate fears during the most difficult times in our lives,” said Sir Robert Lechler, president of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

During the survey, participants also asked questions about how they learned about the death and where they got their information from.

Most people reported receiving information from family and friends, or watching someone else's last minute.

20% of those surveyed said they were just as likely to get information from a documentary, and films and television were included in the top five sources of information.

"Television and films rarely depict 'normal' deaths," said Dame Leslie Follow, professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of Sussex. "For many people, death is a mild, peaceful and painless event. While grieving for the loss of loved ones can be difficult, some people do talk about the death of their loved one as a positive experience. We need to demystify death and talk about it more."

Some of the biggest problems people have about dying are that their loved ones may experience pain or fear when they die.

Not only can talking about death help alleviate some of these problems, but being informed about the process of death and end-of-life care can also empower yourself and your loved ones.

“A lot of people don't know a lot about what palliative or hospice care involves, and some people worry that starting to talk about the end of life can hasten death,” said Dr. Catherine Slimane, NIH Clinical Scientist. on the contrary - studies show that the earlier people receive specialized care, the better their quality of life, and some studies have shown that people who receive early specialized palliative care actually live longer.”

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