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Dying to Know Day

Dying to Know Day is an annual event, occurring on 8 August in 2017. This yearly event, which started in 2013, is about promoting death literacy in the wider community to ensure end of life wishes are met.

There are over 100 events planned all with the aim of encouraging Australians to have important conversations that are often delayed or never had.

 

According to the charity organisation The Groundswell Project Inc, the organisers of Dying to Know Day, 75 per cent of Austalians have not had end of life discussions with their families and that whilst the majority of Australians would prefer to die in the home only 14% do so.

The charity wants to move the conversation away from a public health approach and instead make it more about community. Planning ahead also reduces stress placed upon families by providing them with details regarding wishes.

Ebony Lewis, an emergency and geriatric nurse, says it’s important to normalise the concept of death and prevent unnecessary prolonging of suffering.

“We want to create awareness of the need to discuss our preferences for what treatments or quality of life we would consider acceptable when we are approaching the natural end of our lives.

“It is possible to prevent unnecessary suffering if we are open about our fears and preferences. It is possible to leave clear instructions with family and our doctors on our decisions in an advance care directive in case we end up in hospital and someone has to make those difficult decisions on our behalf.”

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