Stigma around death leads people to miss out on primary care

10 January 2022

The UK’s reluctance to talk about death, and low public awareness of palliative care contributes to one in four people missing out on vital care at the end of their lives, says charity Marie Curie

Their survey revealed around a third of people are unfamiliar with common terms used by healthcare professionals and others in care for dying people. So those who need the care may not access it, or don’t know what to ask for. 

Among the words people didn’t recognise were palliative, hospice and end-of-life care.

The survey also found that 51% of the public think we don’t talk enough about death and dying as a society.

Marie Curie chief nurse Julie Pearce said that being more comfortable talking about end-of-life wishes ‘can aid the conversations we initiate with patients’.

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