Thursday, April 27, 2006

BBC (TV): How to Have a Good Death

The BBC recently put together a documentary on death and dying entitled How To Have a Good Death.(DEAD LINK 04/2010)  It is based on a British poll surveying attitudes and actions around death planning. Some of the more interesting things on the site include 1-2 minute video clips from people talking openly about their own views on dying, bereavement, and Do-It-Yourself Funerals (aka Green Funerals), something I had only been privy to once while practicing in North Carolina. Apparently this is a growing phenomena in the UK and Australia as there are numerous websites based out of those two countries, but I did not find a lot of American based sites.

I thought the focus on after death planning was interesting because it is a side of death that often gets little attention in the medical world because it is during a time after our interventions are complete. I have always wanted to spend some time with a funeral director and see the process of what happens after a patient dies. Obviously not because I have a morbid curiosity but as a palliative medicine physician doing a lot of counseling and education of families I believe having a full understanding of the entire process including social customs and processes around the time of death is important.

Have any Pallimed readers spent time with funeral directors or other aspects of the post-mortem process besides grief support?

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