Nation must talk more about dying: MPs highlight Dying Matters in Commons debate

19 January 2012
The importance of talking about dying, death and bereavement was highlighted in a debate on Care of the Dying held in the House of Commons on Tuesday 17 January.

David Burrowes MP, who secured the debate, highlighted in his opening speech the importance of increased awareness of end of life issues as part of a national debate that is broader than assisted dying.

Mr Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield-Southgate, said: “Last year, a ComRes poll found that 67% of people are scared of being told that they are dying. More significantly, 83% are scared of dying in pain. As a nation, we need to get better at talking about dying, death and bereavement, but Parliament can take a lead in breaking the cycle that can result in a lack of care. With the public reluctant to discuss end-of-life care, many professionals do not feel confident to deliver it. Services are not available to everyone who needs them.

"The aptly named Dying Matters coalition, across the public, voluntary and private sector, should be commended and supported when it has its annual awareness week in May.”

The debate, in which 21 MPs took part, was held in response to the recent media coverage of the Commission on Assisted Dying, whose final recommendations were published a week prior (see more here).

You can read a transcript of the debate here or watch a video here.

NCPC briefed parliamentarians ahead of the debate. You can read our briefing here.

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Which of the following describes how you would feel talking to someone close to you about their end of life wishes.

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