The Good Death

What is the Good Death?

During the course of our research we found that in a number of cases families were initially keen to have their relative home for the last days of their lives. However, this often did not happen. Sometimes a patient’s condition deteriorated more swiftly than the support services could be put in place to allow this to happen.

Often, once family carers thought through what was involved in looking after someone at home whilst dying, they decided that hospital was the best place for the individual to be.

It is important for health professionals to allow time and space for patients and their family carers to assimilate all that is going on in what is a very stressful situation. It is only when people have understood the implications of any possible decisions that they are in a position to make an informed choice.

However, in the pressured environment of the acute hospital ward relatives who are anxious and distressed may find it difficult to take in what is happening, or communicate effectively with staff. Health professionals may find it difficult to give time and privacy needed to support families of dying patients. And always, there is immense pressure from management for staff to free up bed space for other patients.


Copyright © 2013 Deidre Scherer