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events @ paperchain


The Best Death
Sarah Winch - Thu 23 Nov 2017

Please join us to hear Sarah Winch speak about her book The Best Death: how to die well

Thursday November 23
5.45 for 6.00pm

Telephone 6295 6723 or

Is it possible to get a good death in Australia? Absolutely. Unfortunately, though, there is a culture of silence around death. Instead of acknowledging death, many of us avoid planning for it or talking about it. We try to forget death might happen to us – until it becomes unavoidable.
In The Best Death, Sarah Winch, one of Australia’s renowned health ethicists, aims to reverse the culture of avoidance and silence. She writes about preparing for death: practically, physically, spiritually, medically and socially.
Sarah writes from both professional and personal experience. Her husband, Lincoln, died from kidney cancer at only 48. Sarah and Lincoln prepared as best they could for his death. Her 30 years as a registered nurse and ethicist, specifically focused on end-of-life care, did not fully prepare Sarah for Lincoln’s death, but it did help them plan for the best death possible. A death based on how Lincoln approached his life – what was important to him, what he believed in, how he wanted to live his last moments. As he was dying, Lincoln and Sarah agreed that she would write a book to help other people understand more about dying well.
The Best Death advocates for taking control of the final stages of life. It speaks directly to people diagnosed with a terminal illness and their loved ones, as well as those wanting to become more informed about their options. Written in short, easy-to-read sections, the book provides advice on how to:

• develop a plan for a good death
• define quality of life
• understand rights around treatment and when it may be futile
• tell friends and family
• get support and early access to palliative care
• understand legal issues
• manage pain
• work with healthcare staff
• manage grief

Dr Sarah Winch is head of the Medical Ethics, Law and Professionalism discipline at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland. She is also the CEO of Health Ethics Australia, a charity that aims to improve death literacy for everyone and compassion awareness for clinicians. She teaches healthcare ethics and researches end-of-life care. Sarah’s professional health ethics advice is sought nationally and internationally by clinicians and government agencies. A widely published author, she draws on her expertise and experiences in end-of-life healthcare to help others get the best death possible.

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