Talking about death

Kia ora koutou,

A recent report from the UK’s Macmillian group (http://www.macmillan.org.uk/aboutus/news/latest_news/thousands-of-cancer-patients-die-in-hospital-against-their-wishes.aspx) highlights:

“There is a crisis of communication in the UK when it comes to death. Many of
us face barriers that stop us talking about dying – and health and social care
professionals, too, may be missing key opportunities to bring up the topic.
In fact, around two in three people (64%) think that we do not talk
about death enough in this country.”

We could say the same for NZ. We’ve done some research showing this in the area of renal care (kidney disease), see: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nep.12323/abstract;jsessionid=18762E548379E1EE7202B418CFA59C41.f04t01 . Some in NZ and around the world are responding to this with ‘death cafes’ (http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/79398938/Mortality-on-the-menu-at-Death-Cafes)

And others regularly talk about our ‘death denying’ culture. Talking about death more would have an impact on many things; at the most expedient neoliberal end, it would impact on how much we spend on heroic interventions.

Of course there is a spiritual aspect to the whole death discussion, not least, what are our beliefs and values around the process.

What do you think?

cheers

Richard

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