Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Halloween edition

photo by David Mao itsdavoToday (in some parts of the world) it’s Halloween or, as Caitlin Doughty (@TheGoodDeath) calls it, “Culturally Sanctioned Morbidity Appreciation Day.” Please enjoy these links, which have nothing to do with Halloween but may have something to do with palliative care.

Is death taboo? The Groundswell Project conducted a quick survey. The results may surprise you. (The Groundswell Project)

Health researcher on a mission to get Indigenous men talking about prostate cancer and sexual health (ABC News)

“It’s about starting a conversation…[Doctors need to] throw in a phrase like how you going, how’s the old boy, is he getting up, is he getting the job done?”

“…I find men want to talk about it, but someone has to start the conversation with them.”

The silver tsunami is actually silver-brown. How does end-of-life care differ for minorities? asks geriatrician and palliative care doctor VJ Periyakoil (@palliator) in the Washington Post.

Pulitzer prize-winner Tina Rosenberg visits La Crosse, Wisconsin, home of the Respecting Choices program, where 96% of adults reportedly participate in advance care planning discussions. (Talking Early About How Life Should End, New York Times).

And now, a video about advance care planning!

Going to work, writing letters for the future and speaking your mind: Day-to-day living when you know you’re dying (Independent, UK)

In Australia: Federal Government to legalise growing of medicinal cannabis; Labor calls for nationwide scheme (ABC News). Apparently, we’re all for it: Legalised medical marijuana opposed by only 7% of Australians, poll shows (Guardian Australia)

Here’s a strange story to finish the list – “Parkinson’s disease: Scottish woman Joy Milne prompts study after claiming ability to smell condition.” Odd. Thanks to my colleague Dr Bornshin for the link. (ABC News)

Let’s talk about death, baby! Tweet chat 5th November 19:00 AEDT #pallANZ

And we are back! After our very successful inaugural tweet chat last month, let’s rock again with our next effort, and Let’s talk about death, baby together with Palliative Care Australia.

A tweet chat is a virtual meeting on twitter. This chat has the hashtag #pallANZ. Remember to use this hashtag in all your tweets, otherwise people will miss your comment.  If you are not familiar with tweet chats,  check out our Twitter 101 and 102 articles on this site.

It’s hard to talk about dying, or as we sometimes say (only half joking), the D word.
Here are some great references on the subject recently:
What do you think?
Are we letting our fear of saying the wrong thing, get in the way?

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Victorians invited to make submissions on end of life care

Victorians are being urged to have their say about the services they want to support them at the end of their and their loved ones’ lives.

Many people with a life-limiting illness die in hospital, when they would have preferred to die at home. Figures show that up to 70 per cent of Australians would prefer to die at home, but only 14 per cent actually do so.

A new Discussion Paper – Greater Say for Victorians: Improving End of Life Care – has been released, and consultation will be undertaken in coming months with health professionals, carers, families and members of the community to develop a new state-wide end of life care framework.

Pop in here http://www.betterendoflife.vic.gov.au to have a look at how you can contribute! Let us know in the comments what you think.

Love, sonia

Caring for the spirit

Pastoral Care Week 2015

It’s Pastoral Care Week!

The 2015 theme Spiritual Care Together offers those of us working in the area of palliative care an opportunity to take the time to pause; to reflect, and consider the ways in which we all can, and do, contribute to spiritual care for the dying and their families.

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#PallANZ tweet chat

PallANZ 201511

And we’re back for another round!

Following on from the highly successful inaugural #PallANZ tweet chat last month, we are delighted to announce that we will be hosting another tweet chat in November! Join team Palliverse (@Palliverse) and Liz Callaghan, CEO of Palliative Care Australia (@PCACEO), and “Let’s talk about death, baby!” Share your stories and reflections on having THE conversation with your family, friends, patient, doctor, nurse, spiritual counsellor…

Date: November 5th 2015

  • 7pm AEDT (Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart)
  • 6:30pm ACDT (Adelaide)
  • 6pm AEST (Brisbane)
  • 5:30pm ACST (Darwin)
  • 4pm AWST (Perth)
  • 9pm NZDT (Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch)
  • Other time zones 8am GMT, Hong Kong/Singapore 4pm

Hope to see you all there!

beautiful essay on a doctor’s perspective on end of life care

This really resonated with me… well worth a read.

A young doctor describing her developing perspective on a “good death”; on dying and end of life care in our healthcare system.



Who cares, after death?

Thinking back to the recent Australian Palliative Care Conference in Melbourne, I was reminded about one of the plenary speaker’s reflections on the first time she, as a doctor, saw a patient after they had died. It prompted me to reflect on my own experience as a nurse, and ask the question – more broadly: who cares, after death?

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#SoMe (social media) meets palliative care again!

Palliverse loves a bit of #SoMe  interacting with palliative care discussions.

If we have not converted you to tweet chats yet, check out this transcript of the healthcare leaders weekly tweet chat which comes out of North America on a Wednesday 1130 AEDT. This week it was on Palliative Care (yay) but it’s often about change, innovation and patient experience in heath.


It highlighted again for me the differences between palliative care in the USA and in Australia and New Zealand.  I know from hanging out on tweet chats out of the USA that often you must sign up to forgo all active treatments in order to qualify for hospice care.

I gave NZ a plug as an example of  a country with a good palliative care system (ahead of Aus cos I think NZ is better with community palliative care integration.) Was I right or wrong? What do you think?

Sonia xx

Reflections on research – Responding to peer review

So your precious paper has been sent for peer review and you’ve been asked to submit some revisions. This is the second post in a series on peer review.  This post has a few of our best tips for responding to the reviewers’ comments.

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IAHPC Traveling Scholarship – ALCP Congress 2016 – for those in developing countries

The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) is pleased to announce 15 scholarships from the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship Program, to help support the travel of palliative care workers in developing countries to the VIII Congress of the Latin American Association for Palliative Care (Asociacion Latinoamericana de Cuidados Paliativos – ALCP).

The ALCP Congress will take place at the Hotel Royal Pedregal in Mexico City, Mexico, April 14-16, 2016.

Applicants must be living in a developing country, be active members of IAHPC and of ALCP, and actively working in palliative care. Applications from physicians, nurses, psychologists and other disciplines are welcome.

If you wish to apply for the Traveling Scholarship and are not member of IAHPC or ALCP, you may join through the corresponding websites:

IAHPC website
ALCP website

Applications to the IAHPC Traveling Scholarship are available through the IAHPC website

Preference will be given to individuals who have not received an IAHPC grant in the past three years with accepted poster or oral presentations in the Congress and to individuals living and working in developing countries in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. If applicable, please send proof of acceptance of the poster or oral presentation, along with a copy of your current CV. Selected grantees will also be eligible to receive a discounted registration fee from the Congress.

Deadline to apply is December 31st, 2015. Results will be announced by January 2016.

Additional information about the ALCP Congress can be found in the congress website.