Issue 19-03-2010

Featured story

We need to talk about death

FREE 19 Mar 2010 | by Judith Moran

A group of children were in a workshop in their primary school. ‘What is death?’ they were asked. Easy. The answers came out quickly. Lack of breathing. Lack of movement. Gone. Forever. ‘So, what is life?’ they were asked. Not so easy, of course. The children um-ed and ah-ed and...

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Top stories

The greatest campaign of the twenty-first century?

FREE 19 Mar 2010 | by Sarah Wootton

Diane Pretty, who died fighting for dignity in dying. | Photo: Photo courtesy Dignity in Dying

In 2007, when considering whether to leave the Equal Opportunities Commission, I knew I wanted to move to another equally important and valuable campaign. Once in a generation a controversy arises on an ethical or political issue in which strong pressure for change is met by strong resistance. Examples have been...

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No room for tears

FREE 19 Mar 2010 | by An ex-offender

No room for tears? | Photo: Photo: Megyarsh/flickr CCBY

A knock on the cell door. A clunk of the key. A kindly face of a prison officer and a request that I go with him to see the duty chaplain. This establishment of grey and gruel had been my home for just a couple of weeks as I progressed...

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The end?…

FREE 19 Mar 2010 | by Friend web

Willow coffin. | Photo: Photo courtesy Somerset Willow Company.

Seventy per cent of us say we want to die at home, yet currently sixty per cent of the 500,000 people who die each year die in hospital. The government has placed end of life care at the centre of its five-year strategy for the NHS. The strategy commits to giving...

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A good send off?

19 Mar 2010 | by Judith Moran and Joycelin Dawes

Holly Hill Jazz Funeral. | Photo: Photo: howieluvzus/flickr CC:BY

In his book The Hour of Our Death, Philippe Aries describes us as a death-denying society – in the West, we have increasingly handed dying and its aftermath over to professionals – doctors and funeral directors.  Photographer Walter Schels, fearful of his own mortality, undertook a breathtakingly brave project: he photographed...

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The final taboo

19 Mar 2010 | by Linda Banks

It’s not the dates, it’s the dash in between that counts. | Photo: Photo: Trish Carn.

From a quick glance at the media it would seem that anything goes and there are no taboos. Yet despite all our openness, talking about death and its actual process is still avoided by most people. Indeed the word itself is usually replaced by one of many euphemisms. To be...

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All articles

Compassion, love and acceptance – the Quaker concern on death and dying

19 Mar 2010 | by Jill Kenner and Alison Leonard

Exploration is the key to our method. The issues that provoked our concern are two: that the process and duration of dying has changed with the advance of medical science, and that the length and quality of care in terminal illness and extreme old age vary greatly. But we throw...

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Dying to Know – bringing death to life

19 Mar 2010 | by Julia Brown

Witty. Reassuring. Cheerful. These are perhaps unexpected qualities to find in a book called Dying to Know – bringing death to life. But then it is an unusual book.  Set out as a series of sixty ‘conversation starters’ or ‘thought buds’, accompanied by striking images, Dying to Know aims to...

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Letters - 19 March 2010

19 Mar 2010 | by Friend web

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Honouring death through dance

19 Mar 2010 | by Linda Murgatroyd

Soul Play is a gentle and intimate dance-theatre duet that explores the moments following a young man’s death. Kate Flatt devised it in response to her own grief upon the death of family members. A secondment at a local hospice as part of a Rayne Choreographic fellowship encouraged this...

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