We know that many dying people do not get good care. But we can change this. We can see that people are not given either too much or too little care when they face the end of life. We can make sure they get pain relief. We can make sure that they are not left alone as they die. We can better train the doctors, nurses, social workers, and others that many dying people and their families depend on.
Change happens when everyone gets involved. Ordinary people need to work with researchers, teachers, health professionals, and those who make the laws. Together, we can make things better for people who are dying and the families who love them.
Pain and terrible distress do not have to be a part of dying. There are ways to prevent or relieve suffering.
Patients and families should always be asked what they think is important. What health professionals assume people want or believe may be wrong.
Dying people and those close to them have many needs. These needs are not only medical. They are also emotional, social, financial, practical, and spiritual.
Research can help find out the reasons for poor care. It can also help us find better ways to provide good care.