At some point in our lives, whether it is early or at an old age, we have to face the inevitability that we will die. Sometimes we get sick, sometimes we are crippled and sometimes we are damaged beyond repair, but even if we go through such circumstances, the point is to have some dignity in death, a greater meaning and for that we need help. But for many countries in the world dying well is an impossible mission.
The Economist just finalized a report concerning the Quality of Death Index, which basically ranks every country for how well you can die within its borders. Surprisingly, the United Kingdom took first place, even though they are well known for being one of the worst countries to have cancer in. The positions that followed were generally occupied by western nations, the United States included.
Australia managed to land on the second place and, paired with Taiwan and New Zealand, they are the only 3 countries within top 10 that are not western nations. Canada also barely missed top 10, landing on the 11th position. The majority of these countries are wealthy and their people are willing to invest in the medical system and care for the dying.
If you want to avoid dying in some of the worst places on Earth, the index now shows that India, China, Mexico, Brazil and Uganda score the lowest places in the Quality of Life index. For these countries, unfortunately, dying well is an impossible mission. There are some factors that should be taken into consideration when discussing about the quality of life of a dying human being.
First of all, it can be related to the fact that there are not enough specialists or that there is insufficient equipment to deal with the number of people who find themselves in the last months of their lives, or years for that matter. This lack of resources can have a profound impact in time and not only discourage people whose hopes lie with the medical system, but the doctors who feel that they cannot do anything as well.
Then there is the taboo subject that many people want to avoid, but which is very real. People would rather donate money to someone who lives than someone who dies. It’s a horrible act, but a real one. Some people just think that if others will die, they die and that there is not much to do about it, so it is better to invest in someone who will live and let the dying die in peace.
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