Response to report on unnecessary treatments

Date: 
27 June 2016
NCPC responds to a report into unnecessary treatments in end of life care.

A report from the Press Association, based on a paper published in The International Journal for Quality in Health Care, found that more than a third of elderly patients who are dying receive "invasive and potentially harmful" treatments in their last weeks of life. 

In response, Claire Henry, CEO of the National Council for Palliative Care, said: “This report shows why it is so important for people approaching the end of life and those who are important to them to be able to have honest and open conversations with their clinicians about their prognosis and the options that are available, to make sure that the things that are important to them happen. We all die one day, and we need to challenge the idea that death is somehow a medical failure. It’s essential that we listen to what people want. Dying is not a failure, but someone dying without good care is.

“One of the themes of the 2015 Choices Review is that people want to be involved in and have control over decisions about their care. Losing someone we care about is always painful, but we don’t help our loved ones, the doctors and nurses caring for them, or even ourselves by demanding treatment that will not bring them any benefit but instead might reduce their chances of a dignified and comfortable death.”

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