Elsewhere in the Palliverse – #D2KD Edition

photo by David Mao itsdavoWelcome 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

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

photo by David Mao itsdavoI have a few palliative care links to share this week. If you’re not satisfied, we also share links on our Facebook page and Twitter account (you don’t need your own Twitter account to see what we’re posting), and you can check out our Elsewhere in the Palliverse archives.

At the End of Life Studies blog, Dr Naomi Richards examines the question, “Is the voluntary refusal of food and fluid an alternative to assisted dying“?

Talking About Dying Won’t Kill You, says Palliative Care Australia, writes comedian Jean Kittson (Sydney Morning Herald)

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.”

Continue reading

Reflections on Research – the pointy end of the funnel

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.)

HelenBevantweet

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.

End-of-life care: no, we don’t all want ‘whatever it takes’ to prolong life

This article originally appeared in The Conversation

Charles Corke, Deakin University

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

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

Has anyone watched Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal series for Frontline in the US? There’s also a selection of shorter videos at the Frontline YouTube page, like the one above.

Oliver Sacks has written a beautiful piece in the New York Times, about his reaction to being diagnosed with a life-limiting illness. (My Own Life: Oliver Sacks On Learning He Has Terminal Cancer) Continue reading

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – weekend reads

Gratuitous holiday snap unrelated to post

Gratuitous holiday snap unrelated to post

I’ll be spending the weekend enjoying the sunshine reminiscing 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.

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads (featuring zombies)

Here’s some palliative care and research related links to peruse in the week ahead (most found via Twitter):

ABC News interviews Atul Gawande about “modern medicine’s treatment of dying patients.” Dr Gawande is all over social media and the news, even in Australia (and in Legoland)!

Current and former Chairs of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Mortality Sub-Committee write in The Age about the challenges that not for resuscitation orders can pose for anaesthetists.

The ASCO Post reviews a review article from JAMA Internal Medicine, about end-of-life discussions and advanced care planning. In summary, it’s all good.

In Canada’s Globe & Mail, “End-of-life patients aren’t being heard“.

Geriatrician Louise Aronson writes in The Lancet about ageism in medicine, and ageing as “the human life-cycle’s neglected step-child.”

Presenting at a conference? Improve your presentation with zombie apocalypse principles.

Meanwhile, on October 31st, GeriPal explored the unmet palliative care needs of zombies. And check out the zombie pain scale!

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!

 

Elissa