Exploring Death, Dying and Palliative End of Life Care with School Students

Calvary Hobart project features on ABC news

In a Tasmanian first, a community engagement project helps high school students from the Hobart area learn about palliative care and how to treat terminally ill patients, as well as how to approach the sensitive subject of how to deal with dying patients. The project, entitled ‘Exploring Death, Dying and Palliative End of Life Care with School Students’, has generated a high level of community Interest with more than 1200 visits to the online blog.

The project aired on ABC TV news and online on 6 March 2016, featuring terminally ill patient Virginia De Groot  sharing  here experiences with Year 11 and 12 students, saying

“I don’t have a bucket list, I’ve lived a great life. We all have to face the end of life stuff, we will all go there one day, mine is more confronting because it could be six months.”

Virginia De Groot

Calvary Hobart Director of Mission Belinda Clarke said the program was about removing the stigma around dying. “If we can deal with death then we can in fact have a more full life,” she said.

“I call it fully human, fully alive and Virginia actually embraced that.”

Ms Clarke said the opportunity for students to meet and experience Virginia’s fortitude is inspiring.

“Amongst all the negativity she’s facing and the challenges that she’s facing, to see her actually talk positively about her experience was very, very moving,” she said.

The project is funded by Palliative Care Tasmania and Calvary Hobart and also aims to inspire students into a career in health care.

View the video from ABC TV News – 6 March 2016

“Some days are negatives, every now and again, but most days are diamonds and every day’s a bonus.”

Virginia De Groot