August 13, 2022

David Bowie and palliative care

A British doctor has mixed Bowie nostalgia with a reflection on the importance of palliative care.

David Bowie’s impact on British society and culture was profound – so much so that a British doctor has mixed Bowie nostalgia with a reflection on the importance of palliative care. Dr. Mark Taubert, a palliative care specialist from Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, published an open letter in the BMJ ‘thanking’ Bowie for opening up a dialogue on palliation.

“Your story became a way for us to communicate very openly about death, something many doctors and nurses struggle to introduce as a topic of conversation,” Taubert writes.

Taubert recounts the last days of David Bowie – admittedly with some poetic licence – and describes how palliation would have helped him. Taubert says he has recently used Bowie’s example as a means to persuade patients unsure about palliative care. Patients are reluctant to talk about death, Taubert suggests, and there is usually a need for doctors and nurses to establish a rapport with patients before they will discuss end of life treatment.  

David Bowie and palliative care
Xavier Symons
https://www.bioedge.org/images/2008images/david-bowie-2013thumb.jpg
Creative commons
https://www.bioedge.org/images/2008images/images.jpg
cultural bioethics
palliative care
UK