Researching death: some reflections on life

Daniel Briggs
2011 Quality in Ageing and Older Adults  
Purpose The paper makes reflections on some ethnographic work undertaken with dying patients. My reflections cover the practical and social implications of doing this work but also the emotional impact it had on me. Design/methodology Although this paper is a viewpoint paper, I take my verbatim quotes and observations from an ethnographic review of End of Life services in one London borough in 2009. Findings My main findings are to consider the use of open-minded, independent researchers to
more » ... researchers to undertake reviews and assessments, even if it does seem outside their area of 'expertise'. This is because their impartiality from the area may be beneficial. Secondly, I suggest that multi-agency 'politics' can be detrimental with regard to commissioning work which directly informs policy. Lastly, I appeal for there to be greater consideration of ways of allowing frontline workers to listen to patients' and carers' concerns about death and dying. Originality/value As far as I can see, there has been little work which has made practical, social and emotional reflections on the area of death and dying.
doi:10.1108/14717791111191153 fatcat:xhntg3pwivf7tpynryvevejavq