The fear of death is partly because of the notion that death is painful and that palliative care may not reduce such pain. However, experts say that an excruciating death is extremely rare.
In fact, the evidence from the Australian Palliative Care Outcomes Collaboration (PCOC) at the University of Wollongong shows that there has been a significant improvement statistically over the last decade in pain and other end-of-life symptoms, Daily Mail reported.
According to experts, more than 85 percent of palliative care patients have no severe symptoms by the time they die. And, it has been linked to more effective palliative care -- due to more thorough assessments of the needs of the patient, better medications and improved multidisciplinary care.
Also, it has been noted that people in their last days and hours experience less pain as well as other problems than earlier in their illness. The most common symptom that people suffer from, towards the end of life is fatigue.
Suffering from fatigue is common because a loss of appetite and energy is very common as death approaches.
The Conversation reported: "In 2016, 13.3 percent of patients reported feeling severe distress due to fatigue at the start of their palliative care. This was followed by pain (7.4 percent) and appetite (7.1 percent) problems."
Other problems such as breathing, insomnia, nausea and bowel issues are experienced less often and in fact, it improves as death approaches.
In 2016, about 26 percent of all palliative care patients reported of having one or more severe symptoms when they started palliative care, as death approached it decreased to 13.9 percent.
However, it is true for a small number of patients that existing medications and other interventions do not relieve pain and other symptoms, adequately.
The PCOC data shows that those receiving care in a hospital with dedicated specialist palliative care services have better pain and symptom control.