Researching death: some reflections on life


Briggs, Daniel 2011. Researching death: some reflections on life. Quality in Ageing and Older Adults. 12 (4), pp. 229-233.
AuthorsBriggs, Daniel

Purpose – The paper seeks to make reflections on some ethnographic work undertaken with dying patients. The reflections cover the practical and social implications of carrying out this work but, also the emotional impact it had on the author.
Design/methodology/approach – Although this paper is a viewpoint paper, the verbatim quotes and observations are taken from an ethnographic review of end of life services in one London borough in 2009.
Findings – The main findings are to consider the use of open-minded, independent researchers to undertake reviews and assessments, even if it does seem outside their area of “expertise”. This is because their impartiality from the area may be beneficial. Second, the paper suggests that multi-agency “politics” can be detrimental with regard to commissioning work which directly informs policy. Last, the paper appeals for there to be greater consideration of ways of allowing frontline workers to listen to patients' and carers' concerns about death and dying.
Originality/value – As far as the author can see, there has been little work which has made practical, social and emotional reflections on the area of death and dying.

KeywordsDeath; Reflexivity; Dying; Emotional impact
JournalQuality in Ageing and Older Adults
Journal citation12 (4), pp. 229-233
Accepted author manuscript
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Deposited21 Jun 2012
Additional information

Briggs, D.(2011) “Researching death: some reflections on life”, Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, 12(4), pp. 229-233, DOI:10.1108/17578041111185695..

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