Analysis

It’s okay to talk about dying

How healthcare professionals can overcome their reluctance to talk to patients about death and dying
Talking about death

Healthcare professionals can get over their reluctance to talk to patients about death and dying, says a report

A report by the Royal College of Physicians reveals that while open discussions are fundamental to managing care, giving patients choices and control over the rest of their lives, professionals continue to find them challenging.

‘It’s disappointing that we’re still worrying about raising the subject,’ says the RCN’s professional lead for long-term conditions and end of life care Amanda Cheesley. ‘As healthcare professionals, we’re terrified of saying the wrong thing or upsetting somebody. And doctors, in particular, have a sense of failure if they’re unable to treat someone.’

It is a view echoed in Talking About Dying . It pinpoints several more perceived barriers

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