Survey finds broad acceptance of palliative care among Taiwan public

Taipei,  Around seven in 10 Taiwanese adults support the concept of hospice care and believe that emergency medical treatment may not always be the right answer for terminally ill patients, according to the results of a recent survey.

The Hospice Foundation of Taiwan announced the results of its survey on end-of-life issues at a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of a film screening it plans to hold this weekend in honor of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day.

The survey, conducted by the market research firm Viewpoint, found high levels of support for issues such as patients’ rights and palliative care for the terminally ill.

Some 72 percent of the survey respondents said they would inform their parents in honest terms if one of them received a terminal diagnosis, compared to only 55.8 percent 10 years ago, said Viewpoint Managing Director Lee Hsin-yu (李欣瑜).

Meanwhile, 68.5 percent of those surveyed — and 75 percent of those aged 40 and above — said emergency medical treatment is not always the right move for terminally ill patients.

Regarding hospice care, some 77.4 percent of the respondents said they were familiar with the concept, compared to only 46 percent a decade ago, the survey found.

Of those, 73.5 percent said they approved of the aims of hospice care, with levels of support rising again in conjunction with the age of the respondents.

Despite the generally high levels of awareness, only 43.3 percent of the respondents said they felt “prepared to accept death.”

Perhaps illustrating that figure, 97 percent said they believe in end-of-life planning, but nearly 60 percent said they had yet to make any concrete plans for their own deaths.

At the press conference, former Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) said the government is working to popularize the concept of end-of-life planning and said the survey’s findings on the varying views held by younger and older respondents will help it to provide better guidance.

The Hospice Foundation of Taiwan will screen six films on Saturday and Sunday in the main hall of Taipei Main Station, as well as holding forums of experts on topics related to death and palliative care, all of which will be open free to the public.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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