If the Minister believes that hospital authorities are aware of the need to do this, why is not something positive being done about it? Is it not the fact that in the majority of cases it is known when a patient is about to die? Is it not realised that when a patient dies without privacy, a great deal of quite unnecessary suffering is caused to people in adjoining beds? For the sake of the patient and others, steps should be taken along the lines suggested.
I appreciate the hon. and learned Gentleman's concern for the tragedy of terminal cases, but I ask him to recognise that he is not alone in this concern and that hospitals can be relied upon to feel the same sympathy and compassion for these cases as many of us in the House do. Everything is done to make them as happy as possible, and many of them prefer to go home or be taken away by their families.
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that anyone who has ever been in a public ward, as I have, when a patient has died must be impressed by the self- restraint, dignity and respect shown to everyone concerned?