The Death on the Fringe Lectures bring eminent medical, academic and end-of-life care professionals to Edinburgh to discuss the latest thinking on the topic, stimulating discussion and challenging established ideas.

The Death on the Fringe Lectures 2015 were part of Just Festival 2015.

Each lecture took place at St. John’s Church Hall, Princes Street at 4pm followed by a Death Cafe (more details to follow) until 5.30pm.

Mon 10 Aug  …   Professor Scott Murray – A Better Place to Die: Africa or Scotland?

Scott Murray - PhotoProfessor Scott A. Murray is a GP and also St Columba’s Hospice Chair of Primary Palliative Care at Edinburgh University. He used to work in rural Kenya and has published research in the British Medical Journal comparing how people die in Kenya and Scotland. He will talk about the many contrasts between the two, and how each country can learn from each other to help people live and die well. Africa can teach us many positives in dying!

Mon 17 Aug   …   Jo Hockley – Dying To Tell

Jo Hockley - PhotoJo Hockley is a nurse specialist who has spent the major part of her career caring for people who are dying, and undertaking research. She worked with Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the hospice movement, and now works at the University of Edinburgh. Many people in the last days of life know very well they are dying – it is their body not ours; yet, we so often collude otherwise. Jo will be sharing stories and literature that bring the whole subject of death and dying alive.

Mon 24 Aug   …   Dr Jeremy Keen – Living with Dying: Uncertainty and Hope

Jeremy Keen - PhotoDr Jeremy Keen is a Consultant Physician in Highland Hospice, Inverness. He has worked in Palliative Care for the last twenty years, in Edinburgh, Canada and latterly in the Highlands. Whilst principally a front line clinician, his areas of particular interest include the interrelated concepts of dignity, personhood and quality of life. Jeremy will be talking about the centrality of hope in enabling living with a life-shortening illness (drawing on the experience of working as a Hospice Doctor for the last 20 years).

Mon 31 Aug   …   Dr Richard Smith – Death: The Upside

Richard Smith - PhotoWithout death every birth would be a tragedy. Sadly we are almost at that stage. We need to learn to see the many positive aspects to death, but the evidence shows both that our society denies death and that the denial causes pain and suffering. Death denial also diminishes living and causes problems beyond healthcare. Unfortunately doctors may be more part of the problem than the solution. Former BMJ editor Richard Smith will discuss the growing movement to rediscover the positive aspects of death.


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