Death remains one of the biggest taboo of this age.

We will all face it one day.

Notwithstanding medical progress and increased longevity, death is a natural part of life. In recognising our mortality, we acknowledge our common humanity and hold on to what is important and precious.

Yet, we don’t talk about death. This lack of openness can lead to compromised care and support at the end of life. There may be regrets, things left unsaid and unfulfilled wishes.

The aim of this campaign is to change the way our society views death and dying. We encourage people to talk openly about what matters to them, and to make plans in advance. This is to avoid making decisions during a crisis when one is emotional, or passing this burden to our loved ones when we can no longer make decisions.

It is hoped that this website will help you start thinking of what matters to you near the end of life, to start conversations with your loved ones and to plan ahead.

Moreover, we also hope that it could help you understand more about palliative care and to provide you with information to help you and your loved ones live to the fullest when confronted with a serious illness.

By letting your family know about your end-of-life preferences, you can help reduce the stress and anxiety they may feel if they have to make decision on your behalf one day.

Interview with Dr Amy Khor, October 2017

Palliative care is more than just the arrangement over monetary or funeral arrangements. It is about focusing on immediate, concrete goals that improve a person’s quality of life and fulfil his desires as far as possible. We need to have such conversations. … In talking about and perhaps preparing for our deaths, aren’t we also learning how we should live our lives today?

Tan Chuan Jin, Speaker of Parliament (Facebook post 29 October 2017)

Consider it a gift of love to your family.

 

Most of us are not keen on making our own end-of-life decisions. Yet it is our responsibility. Doing so gives us the assurance (or confidence) that we have some control over how we live our remaining days. It also relieves our loved ones from the burden of making decisions for us.

Many families have shared that they felt a greater sense of relief when matters related to death and dying were brought out into the open. They also felt that they have grown closer to one another.

  • What matters to you and what doesn’t matter?
    Eg. What matters: family time, good symptom control
    Eg. What doesn’t matter: Prolonging life at the expense of comfort?
  • How would you like to spend your remaining time?
  • Where would you want to be in your last days?

We need to normalise conversations about death and dying so that people can be more comfortable having advance care discussions within families before there is a crisis

Dr John You, lead author of a Canadian Multisite survey of more than 1200 clinicians about barriers to end-of-life discussions with hospitalised patients suffering from serious illness.
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