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Medisense reads... With the End in Mind

As medicine hovers the line between science and art, the 'art' side of CPD is often left unrecognised. Check out our new series on medical literature, starting with Kathryn Mannix's With the End in Mind!

With the End in Mind by Kathryn Mannix

Kathryn Mannix’s career puts her in a unique position to tell the story of palliative (end of life) care as it emerges independently from oncology, geriatrics and general medicine. With the End in Mind is a fascinating collection of anonymised stories of life, living, death and dying.

At first glance, With the End in Mind may seem like a case book of how palliative care can be done right – and for medical professionals it certainly provides a useful and refreshing perspective on how end of life care can be well provided. However, the book is much more useful than that. There are two hugely important and difficult subtexts Mannix tackles with a delicate and patient approach.

With the End in Mind reaches out to the reader, using deeply personal stories to probe the reader’s own thoughts and beliefs about the end of life. Without being sanctimonious or instructive, Mannix sparks spontaneous reflection on what is important when death draws near.

The emergence of palliative care as a medical specialty may seem like further medicalisation of what is an inevitable human experience, but counterintuitively, With the End in Mind is a manifesto for reclaiming death from medicine and returning it to families, to communities, to the individual. It is an incredibly useful tool to anyone who will face death at work, at home and in their family – so in other words, everyone.


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