Death and dying forum in Lismore

The inaugural Northern Rivers Dying and Death Forum is on March 20 and will provide members of the public with ‘Everything You Wanted To Know About Dying and Death But Were Afraid to Ask’.

The day long event will include talks on topics such as the physical process of dying; dying: the rights and rites of passage; advance care planning and why people find death and dying so hard to talk about.

Dr Joanne Doran, Director of Palliative Care, North Coast Area Health Service said palliative care is about much more than death.

“It is true, most of our patients have a life limiting illness, like cancer or heart failure, but we spend 99.99% of our time with people who are very much alive, and although unwell, they are just as vital as everyone else. To quote Dame Cicely Saunders: ‘You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die’.

Dr Doran said the goal of palliative care was quality of life for patients and their carers.

At the Dying and Death Forum, Joanne will be talking about palliative care, how the health system works, some of the difficulties for patients and families. Other speakers at the Dying and Death Forum include:

Judy Arpana, a spiritual care consultant, counsellor and educator in grief and loss, who has studied with many Buddhist masters.

Jennifer Lalor, is a passionate advocate for assisting children through loss. She will speak about her family’s personal journey.

Zenith Virago, death consultant, celebrant, educator and spiritual caretaker and founder of the Natural Death Centre. She is co-author of The Intimacy of Death and Dying.

Kate Stirling, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care and currently a NRGPN Project Officer promoting Advance Care Planning.

The forum is on at Invercauld House from 8.30am to 3.30pm and the cost is $60 or $40 concession.

Registrations closes on Friday, March 12. For more information contact Kate Stirling, Rural Palliative Care Project Officer or Janet Grist, Communications Manager on 6622 4453.


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