Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

photo by David Mao itsdavo

Welcome to this weekend’s reads. People seem to enjoy the cute animal stories, so I’ve included one (near the end, if you want to read it first).

The latest paediatric palliative care video (below) from Little Stars is about treating chronic pain in children. It’s nice to see how the interdisciplinary team interacts with, and respects, the girl in the video.

An article that is all over my social media feeds this week: Knowing How Doctors Die Can Change End of Life Discussions. It also brought back to mind this article on How Doctors Die. (NPR)

“I felt like I was beating up people at the end of their life…I would be doing the CPR with tears coming down sometimes, and saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, goodbye.’ Because I knew that it very likely not going to be successful. It just seemed a terrible way to end someone’s life.” Continue reading

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – Weekend Reads

I have so many links to share with you. Here are a few of them:

Australian critical care doctor and blogger Andy W writes about death and taxes and asks, “…why is it that we seem to spend so much time talking about the taxes, and not nearly enough about death?” Thought-provoking stuff. “The Things That Are Certain“, The Flying PhD

Death isn’t failure. But avoiding these conversations is.” UK Palliative Care Physician Katherine Sleeman shares her story in this beautiful piece, “While medicine gets better, dying gets worse: Doctors are so good at saving lives that we forget about death.” (The Independent UK) Continue reading

Is the health system designed to crush the creativity and spirit of health professionals?

Do you ever feel like health professional education and the health system are designed to take talented, intelligent, creative individuals and turn them into machines with no ability to innovate? Do you find yourself banging your head against a wall when even the smallest change for improvement requires hours of paperwork (that you probably submitted via fax), approval by numerous committees and months of waiting? Do you feel trapped in a health care silo? Do you feel ridiculous attending “multidisciplinary” meetings when the multiple disciplines are merely different specialties within your own profession?

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes”, please keep reading. Continue reading

Elsewhere in the Palliverse – holiday addition

If you’re lucky enough to have a break over the summer holiday season, I would advise that you to avoid anything work-related. However, if you just can’t pull yourself away from the worlds of palliative care and research, here (in no particular order) are some related links:

Continue reading

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead – from @ConversationEDU

This is another article from the Death and Dying series on the fantastic website The Conversation. We’ve shared a couple of these articles before and I would recommend reading the rest over at The Conversation.

Tweets from the afterlife: social networking with the dead

By Bjorn Nansen, University of Melbourne; James Meese, University of Melbourne; Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne; Michael Arnold, University of Melbourne, and Tamara Kohn, University of Melbourne

Media technologies have operated as both a means of communicating news of a death and memorialising the deceased for a significant period of time, moving from traditional epitaphs, eulogies, wakes and inscription in stone to centuries-old obituaries printed and circulated in newspapers. So where are we now? Continue reading

Children On Death

As both mere humans and as professionals in the palliative care sphere, how often do we catch ourselves or those around us contemplating the big questions of life, or more specifically, death? Quite often, I imagine… Yet many of us still find ourselves tongue-tied on the subject. Even as professionals in the ‘business’ of dying, we may approach conversations on the subject with a certain reluctance. How do we gauge the readiness of a person to face their own mortality? How do we establish a person’s preferences for disclosure? These are complex questions with perhaps no one easy answer – unless of course, you’re a kid, right? Continue reading