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Life should end as well as it starts, conference hears

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1242 (Published 22 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1242
  1. Bryan Christie
  1. 1Edinburgh

Families and services should give as much priority to preparing for a death as they do to preparing for a new baby, a conference in Edinburgh has been told.

Community based classes similar to antenatal sessions offered to new mothers could be one initiative to help remove the stigma concerning the end of life and encourage its discussion, the conference heard.

Surveys have shown that around two thirds of people are uncomfortable talking about death. Richard Smith, former editor of the BMJ, said that society was “in denial” about death, which resulted in needless pain and suffering for many people. The reluctance to talk …

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