Here is an interesting paper on a little discussed topic - “The Quality of Death: Ranking end-of-life care across the world” http://graphics.eiu.com/upload/QOD_m...12_toprint.pdf
. The research was sponsored by the Lien Foundation http://www.lienfoundation.org/
and conducted by EIU, a unit of The Economist magazine. http://www.eiu.com/site_info.asp?inf...age=noads&rf=0
A sample of the executive summary.
The UK leads the world in quality of death; many developed nations must work to catch up. The UK has led the way in terms of its hospice care network and statutory involvement in end-of-life care, and ranks top of 40 countries measured in the Index (see Figure 1). This is despite having a far-from-perfect healthcare system (indeed, it ranks 27th on the Basic End-of Life Healthcare Environment sub-category, which accounts for 20% of the overall score). But the UK is top in the Quality of End-of-Life Care sub-category, which includes indicators such as public awareness, training availability, access to pain killers and doctor- patient transparency (and accounts for 40% of the overall score). However, in the overall score, many rich nations lag a long way behind: these include Denmark (22nd), Italy (24th), Finland (28th) and South Korea (32nd). In these cases the quality and availability of care is often poor and policy co-ordination lacking.
This is particularly interesting in the US, where end of life health care represents a very large share of total medical expenses, there is rather intense focus on cost containment, and end of life palliative care appears to cost much less.