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Switzerland: federal survey of end-of-life and palliative care. Two thirds of interviewees “have already thought of the treatment they will have”

A survey of the Swiss populations’ needs and wishes at the end of their lives was published yesterday, April 10th, based on a general survey of the “National Palliative Care Platform”, which is part of the Public Federal health office (Ufsp). The “Platform” works to “make sure all people who are in a palliative state have access to quality services that respond to their needs” and regularly monitors “the progress made by palliative care”, but it also measures “the population’s awareness” and “the population’s needs”, for instance with such survey. 82% of the interviewees think of their end-of-life and 66% have already talked with someone about death. Those who are most aware are women and “highly educated people”. 99% of the people who speak of their end-of-life do it “with someone from their personal circles”. About two thirds of the interviewees (68%) have more specifically thought already of the type of treatment and care they would like to receive at the end of their lives. About as many (70%) know what “advance healthcare directives” are, but just 16% of them has made arrangements for them, and even fewer, just 8%, have already spoken of their wishes with a specialist. More women than men make plans when they are still in good health; the Swiss German population (56%) do so more than the population of the Italian- or French-speaking cantons (48%).

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