When my friend Angela’s mother died, the nursing home handled its communication around this very badly. This, despite a lot of rhetoric about caring. But her’s is just one of many similar stories I’ve listened to, about death badly handled in a range of settings, in our culture today. Yes, even in 2022.
American Elisabeth Kubler-Ross first pointed out the flaws in the way we manage death in 1969, more than 53 years ago. And Englishwoman Dame Cecily Saunders founded the first palliative hospice in 1967 in West London. Knowledge has improved since then but not general knowledge. Practical care in too many parts of the world, including Australia, has worsened, except in pockets.
Sure, some people have very good experiences. But many do not and it is this unevenness which is wrong.
To read my article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, go to:
It was also published on the Opinion pages today, under the heading: ‘She wasn’t a cheeseburger’: aged care failing the dying’. Thank you to the Sydney Morning Herald.
For other articles exploring the issues raised, so the following:
And also this one:
And today I remember my brother the late Julian Edmund Rice, whose birthday it is today. Thank you for everything, dear brother.