We often talk about the best places in the world to live, but we tend to shy away from something just as inevitable as life: death.
But, as scary as it might be, we have to have open discussions about it — so that people can conclude their time here on Earth in comfort and with dignity.
Some places in the world — like Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand — understand this and are giving end-of-life (or palliative) care the attention it deserves. In the Economist's 2015 Quality of Death Index, which included 80 countries, these places earned top marks for their palliative and health-care environment, human resources, affordability of care, quality of care, and community engagement, reports the BBC.
Of course, the countries that didn't fare so well in the rankings were the less wealthy ones — like Iraq, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. In those countries, the government has no real strategy for developing and promoting palliative care and a shortage of medical professionals — let alone ones in this specific field.
Most of the list's top 20 are rich Western and Asian-Pacific nations, but, as the report notes, even the top-ranking countries still fall short in providing adequate palliative care services for every citizen who needs them.
Dr. Stephen Connor, of the the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance, told the BBC, "The biggest problem that persists is that our healthcare systems are designed to provide acute care when what we need is chronic care. That's still the case almost everywhere in the world."
So, as morbid as it sounds (and, really, is), let's get talking about death. If we improve it, maybe it'll be a little less foreboding.
Here are the top 10 best places to die:
3. New Zealand
And the bottom 10:
75. Dominican Republic
You can read the full report here.
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