Lecture title -- Being human: Exploring the impact of illness and loss in modern healthcare
Speaker: Dr Brooke Swash, University of Chester & University of Cambridge
As they say, two things in this life are certain: death and taxes. Why is it then that we find it so difficult to talk about death and illness? We live in a society where modern medicine has transformed how we live and how we age, yet death and illness remain an inescapable reality. A third of us will experience cancer at some point in our lives. Yet, despite its prevalence, the ‘c word’ inspires fear in a way that few other things can. Both doctors and patients can find it difficult to talk pragmatically about what to do if the worst should happen, yet this can create barriers to open communication around what people want their care to look like. Living with cancer can create considerable challenges and unmet needs for both patients and families, affecting psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. This lecture explores the impact of incurable disease on both patients and their families, and how research is informing the evolution of healthcare services to meet the needs of modern society.