February 25, 2024

Britain tops end-of-life care index

Summarises experience of 40 countries


End-of-life care is one of the key areas of
contemporary bioethics. The Economist has just published a
40-page survey
of how 40 mostly rich countries care for the dying. Its
conclusions are summarised in an index which places Britain at the top with a
score of 7.9 and India at the bottom, with 1.9.

This is not a matter of cultural bias, The
Economist explains — although Australia, New Zealand and Ireland rank 2, 3 and
4. “For all the health care system’s faults, British doctors tend to be honest
about prognoses, the mortally ill get plentiful pain killers and a
well-established hospice movement cares for people near death. Countries such
as Denmark and Finland rank lower because they concentrate more on preventing
death than on helping people die without suffering pain, discomfort and
distress.” ~ Economist,
July 14

Michael Cook
end of life