New research published in the current volume of the Journal of Medical Ethics (Vol 36) presents the findings of a survey aimed at examining the Irish public’s understanding of death and dying.

The national survey, funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation asked respondents to comment on a range of ethical issues in relation to death and dying including questions about their familiarity with terms like advance care directive, palliative sedation or artificial hydration as well as questions about their attitudes to death and dying, their preferences for treatment and decision making in event of terminal illness.

Responses indicate that there is a general lack of awareness of the terminology of end-of-life care, that most respondents expect honest communication in relation to terminal diagnoses and that a large degree of trust still exists in physicians ability to make the right end-of-life care decisions. Consistent with patient and family responses in the National audit of end-of-life care, the research indicates that for most people the quality of death is important.

Article abstract is available HERE and access to a full text copy is available via the Therese Brady Library

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