A majority of people would prefer to die at home, but few actually do so
Population and Societies
n° 524, July-August 2015
Most people would prefer to die in their own bed, but in fact only a quarter of deaths occur in the home. The “Fin de vie en France” [End of life in France] survey follows the residential and medical trajectories of patients up to their death. In cases of non-sudden death, 45% of persons are living at home four weeks before they die. The most frequent pattern is a move from home to hospital before death (30%); just 14% remain at home throughout the last month of life. A transfer back home from hospital is much less frequent (2%). The complexity of treatment often makes home care unfeasible, so a hospital transfer is inevitable. This is the reason most frequently given for not respecting the patient’s wish to die at home.