The best possible death. The end of life care evolution

Stephanie MacGillivray

How can we address the pastoral needs of those who are dying? This article explores the changes happening in pastoral and end of life care, and the positive changes being introduced through the work of doulas, who are showing how end of life care is changing and that we hold the key to its success.Stephanie MacGillivray works in Policy and Research for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

It is an uncomfortable truth that we are not a society well-equipped for loneliness. The number of lonely elderly people is on the rise and among younger generations depression and feelings of isolation have risen in recent years. However, we have, at the same time, never been busier and seemingly more constantly occupied with life.

We have an unprecedented abundance of modes of communication at our fingertips. We can instantly notify each other of anything we do – from what we had for breakfast to live updates from major world events; yet when it comes to talking about life and death, arguably some of the most important conversations we will ever have, we appear to be losing touch.

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