With the End in Mind: a conversation with Dr Kathryn Mannix
Thu 27 June, 7.00 pm£5
This event is open to health care professionals and the public.
Kathryn Mannix has spent 40 years working in cancer management and palliative care: her book is the result of “half a lifetime of keeping company with the dying”. She argues that with better nutrition and healthcare, in which “the machinery of life preservation” is often deployed to prevent the inevitable, people have lost touch with the “patterns” of dying and “the sequences of the deathbed”.
She reveals the “rich wisdom” that can be found in a familiarity with the process of dying (“predictable and usually reasonably comfortable”) and in celebrating the experiences of those at the end of their lives. Mannix illustrates this with heartbreaking but also heart-warming stories drawn from her work as a clinician.
Writing with the deftness of a novelist, she describes how patients and their loved ones live with the reality of death. It is a “journey of shrinking horizons and final moments”, but one in which she sees people transformed: living in the moment, looking back with gratitude not regret, and experiencing times of reconciliation and common humanity with family and friends. A book of humbling compassion and rare insight into mortality.
From a review in The Guardian, February 2019