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Spirituality not a top priority for the dying

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Research conducted by the ‘Dying Matters’ coalition has found that the majority of the British public would not consider it a top priority to have their religious and spiritual needs catered for when facing the end of their lives.

In a poll, commission by ComRes, participants were asked to consider which factor from a list of six would be the most important to them in ensuring that they had a “good death.”

Having “religious/spiritual needs met” ranked at the bottom, with only 5 per cent describing this as a top priority.

Most participants said they would like to be “pain free” (33 per cent) whilst 17 per cent said they would like to have their friends and family beside them. 

13 per cent said retaining their “dignity” would be the most important factor, whilst 6 per cent said they would like to be involved in decisions about their care. 

The Dying Matters coalition, led by the National Council for Palliative Care, says that it aims to “encourage people to talk about their wishes towards the end of their lives, including where they want to die and their funeral plans with friends, family and loved ones.”

Sharp decline in church funerals

The findings come after new research from the Church of England found a sharp decline in the number of people opting for clergy-led funerals. 

The figures show that clerics preside over just a third of funeral services in churches or at crematoria across the UK as the proportion taken by civil celebrants continues to soar.

Andrea Williams said: “These statistics – and the ongoing push for assisted suicide - demonstrate why it is now more important than ever for the Church to find its voice and to give vulnerable people the hope that is found in Christ Jesus and the truths that flow from Him.”

Related News:
High Court grants permission for Assisted Suicide challenge
Action needed on end of life care

Related Coverage:
Faith no more: Britons no longer consider turning to God in death (Telegraph)

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