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Dutch Vs. Japanese End of Life Care

Preferences in end of life care substantially differ between the Netherlands and Japan: Results from a cross-sectional survey study

Groenewoud, A. S., Sasaki, N., Westert, G. P., & Imanaka, Y. (2020). Preferences in end of life care substantially differ between the Netherlands and Japan. Medicine, 99(44).

Best practices and cultural attitudes towards end-of-life (EoL) care have changed over the years. Now there is a global consensus on the way to implement care in the dying stage, but the public’s perception of end of life in some countries and continents has not changed with the science. This study’s aim was to better understand the different attitudes and preferences of end-of-life care between the Netherlands and Japan. The reason these two countries were selected for research is because Japan has the highest number of people dying in hospitals, and indicator of EoL care, whereas the Netherlands has the lowest. Respondents had to opt into the survey after they were emailed at random. There were many interesting general publics findings such as Japanese people believe their children should take care of them if they are ill and that they do not often think about their death compared to the Dutch. The Dutch also preferred to die at home and avoid nursing homes while Japanese people wanted to die in a hospital and to be in a nursing home. There is a very strong cultural influence in this topic and the authors point to euthanasia being legal in the Netherlands prompting discussion and thought about advance care planning and death while there is no such thing in Japan making it more difficult to talk openly about.

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