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We hear what you say
What do journalists think about end-of-life care and advance care planning? A media insider's account of reporting from the front line of the end-of-life care debate in Australia
  1. J Davies and
  2. W Silvester
  1. Respecting Patient Choices/Austin Health, Victoria, Australia


Australia has a unique history in its experience with end of life care. It was the first place in the world to – briefly- legalise euthanasia. But there has been minimal public debate about Advance Care Planning (ACP) and very little media attention.

This presentation aims to take delegates behind the headlines and into the real world of editorial decision making that determines what is- and what isn't- news worthy when it comes to generating or responding to stories about dying with dignity.

You will hear what it is really like as a reporter to write about this complex and ethically challenging area of social policy within the confines of an industry that views the world in black and white.

Is ACP simply not sexy enough for mainstream media or are there lessons to be learned from the pro-euthanasia lobby whose tactics have been so successful in helping to shape the end of life care debate in Australia?

As a former senior journalist at Australia's leading newspapers,the presenter has written from all vantage points on the subject. She will take delegates through some of those stories and the people behind them.

The presentation will illustrate why it is imperative for health professionals working in ACP to make time and muster the courage to take journalists into their world if they really want to make a positive difference to the way we all die.

The media principles to be discussed have a global application.

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