The Economist 6/8/16 reports research done in USA which interviewed patients aged over 60 who were admitted to hospital suffering from serious illness. They were asked to compare various symptoms to death to say how it compared to death. Half or more thought incontinence, being unable to get out of bed, or relying on a breathing machine were all “fates worse than death”. Over 30% thought living in a nursing home was worse than death.

Although a small scale study, MDMD agrees with the Economist that this type of research is really important as it begins to show real attitudes towards living and dying for those who are close to that point themselves. None of the conditions tested were necessarily “terminal” illnesses.

The Economist article is available here. Though you will need to apply for a free subscription.