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One in four GPs remains reluctant to initiate end of life discussions with patients

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 12 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3195
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

Discussing death with a patient is still a taboo subject for one in four general practitioners, a survey has found.

The survey of 1003 UK GPs was conducted by ComRes for the Dying Matters coalition, a group led by the National Council for Palliative Care. It found that one in four GPs had not initiated any discussion with patients about their end of life wishes, even though GPs can on average expect around 20 of their patients to die each year.

Although the results showed a persistent reluctance among some GPs to broach the subject of death, they were a marked improvement on attitudes studied two years ago. In 2012 more than a third (35%) of 1000 GPs …

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