The Australian Centre for Health Research has released a report about end of life care and the pressures it is under in Australia. Conversations: creating choice in end of life care by Rebecca Bartel, finds that conversation can be the principle inexpensive step to reforming the systems we have in place and ensuring that people have greater choice.
Bartel argues that the community needs to talk about dying. Many Australians are dying in ways they would not choose - we are often receiving care we don't want in places where we don't want it. The evidence shows that open conversations about death, dying and bereavement are vital to the long-term health and well being of individuals and communities and we are not currently doing it well. "It is clear that sharing our preferences for what we'd like at the end of our life is the most important – and costly – conversation that Australia is not having".