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Right to die at home a ‘basic human right’ says Labour MSP

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Hospital deaths could rise by more than half over the next 20 years without substantial investment in community-based care, a new report has warned.

The research was highlighted by Labour MSP David Stewart, who said having the right to die at home is a ‘basic human right’.

The party’s shadow public health minister was speaking during a debate raised by MSP Miles Briggs in Scottish Parliament on Wednesday.

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The debate homed in on research by charity Marie Curie, the University of Edinburgh and Kings College London, which said that if current trends continue by 2040, two thirds of Scots could die at home, in a care home or a hospice. Currently less than half do.

However, the research warns that without substantial investment in community-based care, hospital deaths could rise to 37,089 (57%) of all deaths by 2040.

Without this investment hospital deaths could rise to 37,089 (57%) of all deaths by 2040, the research warned.

“This is an issue that has long interested me and has fundamental public health implications for Scotland,” Stewart said in a Facebook post.

“Having a right to die at home in my view is a basic human right and accords with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Stewart said he has highlighted concerns by Shetland GP Susan Bowie (pictured) who contacted him about the gap in ‘hospital at home care’ for patients. He has also received similar concerns from other GPs in Scotland.

“Dr Bowie and I believe there should be an automatic right for people to have full care at home day or night for their last few days of life, so that they can have their wish fulfilled to die at home,” he added.

Tags : hospice care at homehospital admissionshospital deathspalliative care
Sarah Clarke

The author Sarah Clarke

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