Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
As a medical registrar, I am faced with death more often than I would like. Some deaths are peaceful and dignified, others are filled with uncontrollable symptoms despite a doctor or nurse's best efforts. Some people have the chance to say goodbye and over the years I have come to realise how important this is: a time to say goodbye.
It always affects me far more when relatives have not had those precious moments to say to their loved one those last few words. Memories of the final words spoken, whether they be said in love or anger, are with you forever.
This is why I think all medical and surgical staff in those cases where people are seriously ill and death is a possibility should take a second to stop and think about informing someone's friends or family. I have never come across a scenario where the patient survived and someone blamed staff for calling them in. Most are relieved, even if they can't come in, that they know what is about to occur.
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66