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What would happen if I choose to die under my favourite tree?

The choice of where to die is a choice that may change as others decide. Clinical care versus my favourite tree needs conscious thought.

Photo of Megan Luhr
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

If we can die surrounded by all that's real and meaningful to us, death and positive bereavement may make a comeback as a positive part of life, shifting the focus from a journey of symptoms and actions to one of living until I die. We will all need assistance in many forms, orthodox and non orthodox as we journey through this time, choice is paramount.

Where do I want to be when I'm dying.

This is not the first time this question has been asked.

When asking staff would you have this conversation with an individual who is palliative, many back away as the question is raised. "Is it appropriate to be this upfront", " Shouldnt we wait till the end stage". "Shouldn't we just be discussing symptoms and actions required".

What are we as a society so frightened about?

If we consider choice early on, all involved in this journey can plan for this to be achieved. Why are we so afraid of such a normal process in the life journey? What would happen if we choose to die underneath our favourite tree.  

One must consider where health and medicine has moved too in our society when classifying " a normal death". Health in the mainstream surrounds cure, we can all live longer, death remains the hard/ taboo subject in many cultures, so our children may never experience this until the bury their parents. In westernised culture, we have removed the experience from the cup of tea in the kitchen discussion to the a medicalised environment surrounding symptoms and actions.

Can we ask the questions of the individuals, clients, residents we care for. Can this be asked in hospitals, nursing homes, in the community. 

What stops us from achieving their choices?

Naivety surrounding resource implications has not been ignored, but if we were too imagine, where could we be.


What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Discussion and survey Inpatient facility staff, Community General Medical Practitioners, residents and relatives where they would like to die. What would they choose for themselves and their patients/ residents, whether it can occur, why it wouldn't and what could make it happen if we were just to imagine.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

. How to have these discussions across multiple cultures , who should have them, when and where?
. What questions would we ask?? Is is achieved by questions, videos, different media??
. Is this acceptable out there in the community/ society?
. Politically is this acceptable for all?
. How to share the voice of the people, change or interventions across cultures/ countries.

Tell us about your work experience:

Palliative Care Nurse Consultant for 15 years
Learning and Development Community Manager
Aged Care Regional Support Manager: 11 Aged Care Homes
Strategic Manager and Partner

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

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