Short Cuts

All you need to read in the other general journals

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 08 May 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:1040

Don’t go to hospital for a “good death”

OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science

Only a minority of people who die in hospital have a good death, according to nurses questioned in a large survey of hospital deaths in France. Three quarters of the patients in the survey died without friends or family at the bedside (2868/3793), and 16% (612/3793) died completely alone. Most patients had respiratory distress in the hours before death (70%, 2659/3793), although nurses reported that only a minority were in pain (12%, 455/3793). Just a third had the kind of death that nurses would want for themselves or their relatives (35%, 1332/3793). Good pain control, the presence of family or friends, a written protocol for end of life decisions, and a meeting between staff and relatives after a death were among the factors most strongly associated with an acceptable death in this study. Just under half of the deaths were expected.

Researchers surveyed nearly 4000 deaths in 200 hospitals throughout France. They found important deficiencies in the end of life …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription