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). Continue reading →
And a palliative care nurse told me that day after day she visited a person dying at home and day after day she walked into a house full of scented candles and rainforest music, until one day she said “Is anyone else sick of these scented candles?” and the family said “Yes”. “And is anyone else sick of this rainforest music?” And the family said “Yes”. So the nurse said “Well, let’s open some windows, and what music does your mum like? OK, let’s put on some Stones.”
At the halfway point of the year, and the 5-month point of my 12-month Fellowship, I thought it a good time to stop and reflect. (I have tried writing one of these posts at the 3-month and 4-month marks but became stuck. I hope this is not a metaphor for my Fellowship.)
After following the above tweet by Helen Bevan, to an article by “entrepreneur turned venture capitalist” Mark Suster, I discovered the “funnel framework” – a marketing model that seems a good fit of my Fellowship experiences so far.
We all die eventually, of course, but these days it’s very hard for doctors and loved ones to let patients and relatives die without first doing “whatever it takes” to try to keep them alive. That is, unless they’ve left clear instructions to the contrary.
The overwhelming priority for doctors is to save life. In the last few decades, technologies have progressed so far and fast that doctors are able to embark on treatments that until recently did not exist, or were too risky to consider.
The extra years of good health are wonderful. But everything comes at a price. While we and our loved ones can often be kept alive, this may involve burdensome treatment and awful outcomes.
But while the default position of medicine is to prolong life, staying alive isn’t everyone’s number-one priority, as my soon-to-be published survey results reveal. Continue reading →
I’ll be spending the weekend enjoying the sunshinereminiscing over holiday snaps catching up with tweets from #CancerCongress, #PPCConference, #COSA2014 working on an ethics proposal. If you’re looking for something to do, try this reading list.
The Conversation takes a look at problems with peer review. “Many now believe that long-standing metrics of academic research – peer review, citation-counting, impact factor – are reaching breaking point. But we are not yet in a position to place complete trust in the alternatives – altmetrics, open science, and post-publication review.”
Finally, join the weekly (zombie-free) #hpmglobal tweetchat on Monday (17/11/14 at 11pm AEDT) to discuss an article from BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care about support networks of end-of-life carers. #hpmglobal chat is hosted by Aussie ex-pat Dr Jim Cleary (@jfclearywisc), with participants from several continents. For instruction in how to participate in a tweetchat, see Sonia’s post Twitter 102.
I hope you enjoy these and stay safe from zombies!