We talked – at Paddington Library

Writers and Readers: A Good Death with Margaret Rice

A lovely group of about 20 tonight (Thursday 17 October 2019), all keen to share ways to improve the way we die. Which led to many questions, among them the following:

  • How do I ensure I get access to the right palliative care? Among my suggestions: While you’re still well, form a relationship with a GP, so that they can network you with the right people when the time comes. If in a hospital, ask more than one professional for their advice. If your specialist dismisses your questions about palliative care when you’ve been informed your condition is terminal, insist on seeing someone from that specialty. You decide when you want to see the palliative care team, not the doctor. If you are entering an aged care facility – either the independent living option or higher needs care – ask the management about the way palliative care will be accessed when the time comes.
  • Is an advance care directive a legal document? In NSW, even if it is just written on the back of an envelope, it is a legal document.
  • Why is grief so badly managed in our culture: We have a belief that grief needs to progress to ‘finished’ quickly. The latest thinking about it is that it is a messy thing with jagged edges. We make some steps forward and some steps back. We need our workplaces to think more laterally about it, to reflect this self-evident truth which is so often denied.
Elizabeth Phillips of Woollahra Bookshop at Paddington Library with the book A Good Death by Margaret Rice.
Elizabeth Phillips of Woollahra Bookshop at Paddington Library with A Good Death by Margaret Rice.

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