Mike Knott

New initiative will have us discussing Death Over Dinner

DEATH is usually not an acceptable topic of conversation over dinner but a new American intiative coming to Australia encourages people to have conversations about end of life at the dining table rather than in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) when it's too late. 

Death Over Dinner (DOD) Down Under has been launched in Australia by the Australian Centre for Health Research (ACHR). 

There is an interactive website that encourages Australians to break the silence on talking about death and start the conversation with family and friends.

"Around 70 per cent of Australians want to die at home, but sadly less than 14 percent do," said Executive Director of ACHR Rebecca Bartell. 

"While ACHR research has found that 89 percent of Australians say it's important to talk about their end of life wishes, few actually have that conversation."

"Instead conversations about end of life care often take place at a hospital in the midst of a crisis. Decisions have to be made quickly and under stress," she said.

"This means many people die in a way they wouldn't choose. Loved ones are left feeling guilty, bereaved and anxious. We are calling on all Australians to fill their table with food, family, and friends."

"Toast life, honour loved ones who have died and ensure that everyone's wishes for end of life care are expressed and respected with understanding and compassion," Rebecca Bartell said.

The Death over Dinner interactive website  has a wealth of tools, information and materials to guide you through the process of hosting a dinner for a variety of different guests, to talk about death.

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