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Not all terminally ill people want to die at home.

10 November 2009

New Health Research Board (HRB) research challenges the assumption that terminally ill patients would prefer to die at home.

While almost all (91%) of patients interviewed said they would prefer to be cared for at home, only one-third wanted to die there and one-third would prefer to die in a hospice inpatient unit. The study shows that there is a strong demarcation line between the place where patients wish to be cared for while they are still in reasonably good shape, and where they wish to spend their final days.

?It may be that patients want to protect their families at the end of their lives and don?t want to be a burden on them or leave sad memories in the home. They may also have a positive experience of hospice care through their own experience or the experiences of others?, the study?s author, Dr Sinead Kelly, a palliative care specialist in cancer at St Luke?s Hospital Dublin, commented.

These findings should be used to inform palliative care policy, the study concludes.

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