Monday 23 October 2017

Skinflint system denies us all the right to die with dignity

Miriam Donohoe

Miriam Donohoe

NONE of us likes to talk about death. In fact, people might be turned off when they start to read this article. Yet the only thing that is certain in life is we will die. Regardless of our religious beliefs, nationality or social background, we all face the final day when we take our last breath and pass on.

It is remarkable, therefore, that dying is still something of a taboo subject in Ireland, where 29,000 people will meet their maker this year. But there is no national dialogue on the subject, and all of us from the Government right down to the man in the street are guilty of being in denial about the inevitable.

We aspire to be the best place in the world to be born, to grow up, to raise a family, to work and to get older. But we do not have a national strategy on how to ensure that every one of us – regardless of where we live, who we are or what illness we have – dies in comfort and dignity.

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