Location: Dinwoodie Lecture Theatre 1&2, Cicely Saunders Institute, Denmark Hill Campus
The personal impact of English end-of-life care policy
Speaker: Dr Erica Borgstrom, London School of hygiene and Tropical Medicine
About the speaker: Prior to joining London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Erica Borgstrom was part of the Palliative and End of Life Care Group at the University of Cambridge, where she did her PhD. She currently holds the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Mildred Blaxter Postdoctoral Fellowship for her work in end of life care. Her work uses ethnographic methods and social theory to explore and understand end-of-life care policy and it’s translation into practice, as well as the experiences of those living with chronic and/or terminal illness. She is co-convenor of the Social Aspects of Death, Dying and Bereavement (part of the British Sociological Association) and Membership Secretary for the Association for the Study of Death and Society. Erica regularly tweets under @ericaborgstrom and more information about her work and previous publications can be found at: http://drborgstrom.wix.com/borgstrom
Abstract: The UK is internationally recognised as one of the best countries in which to receive end of life care, partly because of the role policy has played in the last decade. Yet, this does not mean that dying in the UK is without complications, controversies or debate and the end of life care policy agenda can be seen to be straddling both mainstream and marginal politics. But what does this mean for those who are deemed to be near ‘end of life’? This seminar will describe what it can currently be like to die in England, drawing on ethnographic data of two local cases and the public discourse around end of life care and death. Recounting the last weeks of two people will demonstrate the ways in which policy is shaping the way people die and the personal and inter-relational impacts this is having.