Episode 34: Talking about death with Dr Kathryn Mannix
I was so honoured to interview Dr Kathryn Mannix who has devoted her life to the palliative care of the dying. She has written a remarkable book called With The End In Mind which everyone should read! It was such a pleasure to talk to her about death! This is a much longer interview than usual but I thought the topic deserved it. Coronavirus has made it even more important that we start having conversations about death before it’s too late. This was recorded before the pandemic.
We talk about:
• Why Kathryn was inspired to write her book, With The End In Mind
• Opening up conversations about death
• How our experience of death is much improved by honest communication
• Denial is one way of coping which works for some people but isn’t ideal
• Thinking about accommodating immobile older relatives
• Sometimes being practical is better than sacrifice when it comes to caring
• What normal dying actually looks and feels like – it is very gentle
• Why it’s important for people to understand the stages of death
• What the ‘death rattle’ really is
• Asking for more pain control if death is not progressing normally
• The importance of discomfort management as people approach death – otherwise the process of death itself is prolonged
• The opioid crisis – how Western addiction concerns stop pain relief availability in poorer areas of the world
• Morphine used properly for pain relief is safe
• Dan’s death plan and how he went on TV to talk about it
• The impact of faith on death
• How many of us start a process of reckoning as we get closer to death
• The importance of some form of belief (not necessarily religious) when it comes to evaluating our lives
• The importance of being clear about what you want for your own death
And lots more!
You can read the full transcription of this podcast here.
Find out more about Dr Kathryn Mannix:
Kathryn’s Book: With The End In Mind
Website: With The End In Mind
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