Survey shows few want immortality
Published 16/05/2011 | 00:29
Only 15% of people would like to live forever and just 9% would like to live to more than 100, according to new research.
The most common age at which people would like to die is aged 81-90 (27%), with younger people more likely than older people to want to live forever, the study found.
Although most people think that talking about death is less of a taboo than it was 20 years ago, two thirds agree that people in Britain are uncomfortable discussing dying and death, the research commissioned by the Dying Matters Coalition found.
Only one third of people (33%) have discussed with their partner the type of funeral they want (33%), with the same percentage having talked about whether they have a will.
Fewer than one fifth (18%) have discussed the type of care and support they would want at the end of their lives.
Women are a lot more likely than men to have had discussions with their parents, but both men and women are more likely to have spoken with their partner than their parents.
Although most people are scared of dying, quality of life is viewed as more important than how long we live for.
The older people get, the more likely they are to think that quality of life is more important than the age they live to, with 81% of people aged 65 or over saying this, compared with 58% of people aged 18-24.
Eve Richardson, chief executive of the National Council for Palliative Care and the Dying Matters Coalition, said: "Although someone in Britain dies every minute, our research has found that many people do all they can to avoid talking about dying. It's encouraging that most people think talking about death is less of a taboo now than previously, but there is still a long way to go."
Dying Matters is an organisation which aims to support changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards dying, death and bereavement and through this to make "living and dying well" the norm.