Forum 2017: death, dying and bereavement in Ireland


PODCAST: Recorded at the Irish Hospice Foundation’s Forum 2017 event in Dublin Castle.

I got the opportunity to attend the fantastic Irish Hospice Foundation forum on End of life conference 2017 where there were excellent, thought-provoking speakers. On today’s programme, you’ll get to hear from three of them, Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Senator Mary-Louise O’Donnell and Dr Stephen Higgins.

Professor Jenny Kitzinger explained the many challenges around how end-of-life decisions are made when the patient has lost the ability to make choices for themselves. Dr Kitzinger is Professor of Communications Research at Cardiff University, the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies. After her sister Polly sustained horrific brain injury She founded, with her sister Professor Celia Kitzinger, the Cardiff-York Chronic Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre which specialises in examining social and ethical aspects of the vegetative and minimally conscious state.

Senator Mary Louise O’Donnell has published a unique comprehensive report, ‘Finite Lives’. For the first time bringing together information on the role state services have to play around death, dying and bereavement in Ireland.

Dr Stephen Higgins Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services shares how palliative care actually works. He is an experienced palliative care doctor who spoke about the multi-disciplinary approach to treating pain at end of life.

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Photo: Paul Sherwood
Pictured are David McCullagh RTE, who chaired the morning session, Sharon Foley, CEO, IHF, Professor Jenny Kitzinger, University of Cardiff and Mrs Justice Catherine McGuinness, at the launch of ‘The People’s Charter on Dying, Death and Bereavement in Ireland’