The 10 Best and Worst Countries in Which to Die

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The United States made a list of the top 10 countries for palliative care, but other nations rank higher. Find out more.

The United States is one of the best countries in which to die, according to a new analysis. Still, eight other countries outrank it.

That’s according to the second Quality of Death Index, recently published by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the business analysis arm of the London-based newspaper The Economist.

First published in 2010, this report seeks to measure palliative care in 80 countries based on research and interviews with more than 120 experts in the field.

David Line, the editor of the report, states in a news release:

“Since the first Quality of Death Index was published this issue has certainly risen up the global agenda, as shown by the World Health Assembly resolution last year calling for improved standards of palliative care across the world. But much more can be done, even in countries that rank highly in the Index. It is an issue that will affect us all — a good quality of death should be regarded as a human right.”

The index ranked the United Kingdom first — for the second time — due to:

  • Its comprehensive national policies.
  • The extensive integration of palliative care into the National Health Service.
  • A strong hospice movement.
  • Deep community engagement on the issue of palliative care.

The 10 best-ranked countries earned scores ranging from 93.9 (United Kingdom) to 79.4 (France), with the United States ranked No. 9 with a score of 80.8:

  • United Kingdom
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Taiwan
  • Germany
  • Netherlands
  • United States
  • France

The 10 worst-ranked countries earned scores ranging from 23.3 (China) to 12.5 (Iraq):

  • China
  • Botswana
  • Iran
  • Guatemala
  • Dominican Republic
  • Myanmar
  • Nigeria
  • Philippines
  • Bangladesh
  • Iraq

Are you surprised by the quality-of-death rankings of the United States or any other countries? Share your thoughts with us below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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