Welcome to this week’s collection all things palliative from around the web. There have been some excellent palliative care-related articles published recently in the mainstream media, in addition to coverage of Dying to Know Day.
It’s Dying To Know Day (#D2KD) in Australia tomorrow, an “annual day of action dedicated to bringing to life conversations and community actions around death, dying and bereavement.” D2KD Ambassador Molly Carlile, AKA the Deathtalker, appeared on The Weekly this week, passionately arguing that the community needs to take ownership of death back from the health system, with discussion of advance care planning, preferred place of death, bereavement and more. I love her plans for her own funeral – watch the video above to find out more (it’s an extended version of the interview that appeared on TV).
There are D2KD events taking place around Australia and online. Even if you can’t attend these, consider talking to your loved ones about what you consider to be a “good death”, your experiences with grief and bereavement, wills, funerals, organ donation and more. (Did I mention it’s also DonateLife Week?)
Want more D2KD? Here’s an interview with Kerrie Noonan, co-founder of the Groundswell Project, creators of this fabulous grassroots initiative. (Dying to Know Day: Discussing death, dying and bereavement; ABC RN)
Everything you ever wanted to know about death but were too afraid to ask – this also features Kerrie Noonan – in case you missed it when Sonia shared it on Palliverse last weekend. (SMH)
Another interview with Kerrie Noonan in the lead up to D2KD, on Why talking about dying is good for you (Adele Horin Coming of Age)
“Ain’t the Way to Die” by ZDoggMD is the first time I’ve heard advance directives mentioned in rap. The comments section is worth a read too. (via Not Running A Hospital)
Canberra cancer patient would rather embark on bucket list quest than be a ‘hero’. This is a fantastic article about a Canberra woman with Stage IV bowel cancer, who is debunking the myth of the heroic cancer patient who battles the disease. Check out her blog, Sky Between Branches (Canberra Times)
Along those lines, do you think that We’re Finally Winning the Battle Against the Phrase “Battle With Cancer”? Is “journey” a better metaphor? This article explores the history of fighting metaphors and cancer, from John Donne to Kate Granger. (Slate, via Jim Cleary and this week’s #hpmglobal tweet chat)
Following the same theme, “The language we use about death is illustrative of our attitudes.” (Comment: What doctors know about death that the rest of us don’t, SBS Australia)
Oliver Sacks, who has taught us so much, now teaches us the art of dying (Dr Ranjana Srivastava in The Guardian, responding to this NY Times article by Oliver Sacks).
Also by Dr Srivastava, a confronting look at the intersection of terminal cancer and being refugee. (A letter to my patient, whose terminal cancer is the least of her worries, The Guardian)
Our culture of grieving is changing: a manly pat on the back will no longer do (The Guardian)
Nothing prepares you for being the daughter of ageing parents, says Scottish writer Jackie Kay (The Guardian)
An American Doctor in Haiti shares his thoughts on how Culture influences end of life decisions. (KevinMD)
I wish I could be in Edinburgh this month for the Festival – and the Death on the Fringe shows that are part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I wonder if any of the shows would like to come “down under” next year for our Fringe Festivals? (via @EndofLifeStudies)
What did a paediatric neurologist learn from having a brain tumour? (Sharing My Story With Patients, NY Times)
From the US: Good Palliative Care, Bad Palliative Care: The Tale of 2 Doctors. (WBUR’s Common Health)
In case you missed it: We’re overdosing on medicine – it’s time to embrace life’s uncertainty (The Conversation)
Finally: 8 of the World’s Strangest Burial Spots. Would you like a strange burial site? Better talk to your loved ones about it on Dying to Know Day! (Atlas Obscura)
Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts below.
Elissa, what a marvellous weekend reads this week for #d2kd…. more like a month of reads, really! I am happy there is renewed focus on the battle metaphor for cancer, one of my pet hates.
I was teaching medical students today and many of these themes came up – but I forgot to mention dying to know day! Doh!
Congratulations to Molly and Kerrie for their media appearances this week.
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