As Paul Daniels dies at home, we thank him for his candour

9 March 2016
Magician Paul Daniels has died at home having been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour in February.

Paul, 77, was told he had terminal brain cancer at the Royal Berkshire Hospital following a fall at home.

His son, ​Martin Daniels, had spoken about his father's decision to leave hospital in order to spend his final days with his family. "It’s like anybody – they feel more comfortable and content at home," Martin, 52, said. "Some days he is tired and spends most of his time in bed dozing. But even then he is happy. His bedroom has floor to ceiling windows so he can sit in bed and look across the garden on to his river. It is one of those things he likes about living where he does, watching the boats pass by and life rolling on. He delights in the ducks, swans and geese which run around at the bottom of his garden."

The veteran entertainer's son went on: "Dad’s not going to get any better. There’s no treatment which can help him. Doctors haven’t said how many weeks or months he might have – and we haven’t asked. He knows things are not in his hands now and we are living in the knowledge every day is a bonus."

Simon Chapman, Dying Matters' Director of Policy and External Affairs, praised Paul and his family's courage in publicly discussing his final days, saying it would help others achieve the end of life they want.

He said: "Paul Daniel’s decision to die at home highlights the importance of discussing and making choices about our end of life care. It’s not only making the decision, but making it early enough before any disease robs us of the ability to think and communicate clearly. Conversations like this are not easy, because they bring us face-to-face with the knowledge that someone we love and care about is going to die. But it makes it easier in the long run, removes worries about what someone might wish for, and enables us all to make the most of the time left.

"By being brave enough to discuss this publicly, Paul and his family have done us all a great service; this may encourage more of us to have these conversations and make these decisions. None of us know when illness or accident will rob us of the ability to decide on our end of life care and to share those decisions. Peace of mind comes from planning."


David Bowie, and why Dying Matters: A reflection

Planning ahead for the end of life

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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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