Britons reluctant to discuss death and end of life wishes

Millions of people in Britain risk missing out on having their end of life wishes met, and are not adequately planning for their death, according to a study released by the Dying Matters Coalition.

A third of those asked said that they thought about death at least once a week, but 72% believed that people in Britain are uncomfortable with discussing dying, death and bereavement.

Though most people feel we’re more likely to discuss death than 10 years ago, only:

  • 35% had made a will
  • 32% had registered as an organ donor
  • 27% had talked about their funeral wishes to their family
  • 7% had talked about care should they lose mental capacity

Claire Henry, Dying Matters chief executive, said: "Talking about dying and planning ahead may not be easy, but it can help us to make the most of life and spare our loved ones from making difficult decisions on our behalf or dealing with the fallout if we haven’t got our affairs in order."

Professor Mayur Lakhani, GP and chair of the Dying Matters Coalition, added, "We know that many people have strong views about their end of life wishes, but unless they talk about them and plan ahead they are unlikely to be met."

Download the full report: National Council for Palliative Care – Public Opinion on Death and Dying

See also: A guide to powers of attorney