Hospice artists Jeni Pearson and Kirsty Stansfield were invited to contribute to discussion event “Stories: End of Life & Dying” organised by the Medical Humanities Society at University of Glasgow. Other contributors included a GP, palliative care consultants, a hospice chaplain and an anthropologist specialising in end of life within hospital care. Each of us were asked to bring an example of poetry, literature, film or visual art that has been meaningful to us in thinking about end of life. These were used to generate thought provoking discussions with the medical students who attended the event.
Kirsty and Jeni took along three framed ink drawings made by a young man they have been working with at the hospice and spoke about these in relation to the work they have been doing around autonomy, creativity and end of life with philosopher Dr Ben Colburn. This work has been supported through a Knowledge Exchange project funded by the University of Glasgow.
The students had a lot of questions and many reflected back how important they felt creativity was to wellbeing, for patients but also for their own wellbeing as medical practitioners in training.