The recent death of comedian Joan Rivers has brought end-of-life issues to the forefront. Kübler-Ross collaborator David Kessler wrote a piece in the Huffington Post on “Melissa Rivers’ Courageous Decision” to take her mother “off life support”. He gives advice to families going through the same decision-making process. Joan Rivers’ funeral plans, which she wrote about in a 2012 book, have also been getting wide coverage in the mainstream media. (Huffington Post, USA Today, news.com.au)
Nicholas Talley, President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (home to the Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine and therefore all palliative medicine specialists and trainees in Australia and New Zealand) has called for Australian governments to invest in and support further clinical trials into the benefits and risks of medicinal cannabis. In his piece for The Age, he speaks of humanity, compassion, patient-centred care and evidence-based medicine. (The Age)
In the New York Times, “Palliative Care, the Treatment That Respects Pain” (from 2013 but resurfacing on Twitter this wee) and “Encouraging End-of-Life Talks” both attempt to clear up some misconceptions around palliative care in the US setting – but are also relevant to the Australian/NZ community. (NY Times)
“You’ve been diagnosed with a serious disease – treating the emotional symptoms is important too”, writes Prof Gary Rodin in Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.
Two of my favourite topics, design (and technology!) and end of life care collide in this article about healthcare design consultancy Fuelfor “Designing a Better Death” (Fast Company)
More technology with Jim, a computer-generated avatar, teaching Curtin University nursing students how to communicate with a patient with dementia (Australian Ageing Agenda)
Yet more (bio)technology – will opioids soon be manufactured from yeast? (The Economist)
If you’d like further reading for your weekend*, browse the Palliverse archives or check out some of the blogs we recommend at our links page, like ehospice, Pallimed, GeriPal, EAPCnet and End of Life Studies.
*Tip: you are also allowed to read “weekend reads” on weekdays