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Images of Care and Dying

Clinical practice at the end of life raises many issues which are hard to find ways to feel, think and talk about. This results in a tendency to short-circuit the process, and move quickly into familiar and abstracted debates cut off from the felt and lived realities of daily clinical work. The result is not only that these important debates become impoverished, but that some unbound intensity, half-voiced, is left for clinicians in making sense of their roles which discomforts and, at times, proves disruptive. For instance, the financial and resource allocation dimensions of end of life care – and its embodiment in lonely, intimate decisions made by or between patients, loved-ones and clinicians (or imposed on them by an under-resourced health and social care sector) – form a regular part of the work, but have been short-circuited out of the literature. Screen media is well adapted to the task of allowing questions about illness, death and dying to be articulated, thought through, felt and reimagined. Though representational and fabricated, they offer a sharp way back in to engaging with the bustle, upheaval, misery, tenderness and clarity of clinical work in this area. Film and images have a special capacity to allow us to remain with questions and difficult experiences, feeling out their meanings and implications for us and others, deepening our imagination of what life, dying and death is or might be. “Images of Care and Dying” offers a genuinely innovative interdisciplinary conversation focused around the themes of desire, responsiveness and representation – each of which is needed and difficult in a palliative care context.

Further details and programme