How Does the Place of Death Affect the Experience of Dying?

When we talk of death and dying, most of us would hope to die after a long and healthy life, knowing that we were loved by family and friends and taking comfort that our estate were in order and that our dying wishes would be adhered to. However, in reality, this is rarely to case and often the circumstance surrounding our death is unavoidable and unplanned. I hope to demonstrate how the supposition of dying at home, where we are gifted some degree of dignity, is not necessarily preferable to death within the clinical setting of a hospital.
Throughout history, medicine had been able to do very little to cure illness or to prolong life and death most frequently occurred at home. This has now been superseded by the institutional place of death – the hospital and other communal establishments that care for the sick. However, given the option, most people would choose to die in the familiar setting of their own homes with the care and support of their loved ones.
Psychologically, those dying are more comfortable in a familiar setting and the home may offer a better environment for maximizing the quality of life that remains and for achieving personal closure, providing the ideal conditions in which dying persons are able to say their final goodbyes to family and friends. Here they can also live by their own schedules rather than those determined by intuitional policy. For example, patients in hospitals receive their meals according to hospital schedules, whereas individuals at home can eat when they feel hungry. This sense of control can help the dying person maintain emotional well-being during the last weeks or days of life.
Whilst dying at home has its clear advantages, especially for the patient, there are also numerous drawbacks that face carers, the family and the health care team. For a patient to choose to die at home, the practicality of this happening without family is virtually impossible, for in order to die at home, there has to be adequate back up,...