As a society our understanding of death has changed because medical skills and public health interventions mean that most of us will enjoy a long and healthy life. Today, most deaths are expected as a function of increasing age or progressing disease. However just as we were born, one day we will die. We will all come to the end of life.
End of life reminds us of the need for community involvement in planning and decision making. It is also a prompt to consider not just the person receiving care but all who are affected by the person coming to the end of their life as they care, suffer and grieve. There is an opportunity for Flinders to build on and expand the focus beyond palliative care as a health research issue to exploring end of life as a period of life and investigating the associated personal, social and community issues.