A Thank You Letter to David Bowie from a Palliative Care Doctor

On 18th January, Dr Mark Taubert, Palliative Care Consultant at Velindre NHS Trust in Cardiff, published a letter addressed to David Bowie thanking him for helping health care professionals, like him, to talk more easily to people about death.

In the letter, Dr Taubert claims that Bowie’s story has had a profound impact on him and his fellow colleagues and that Bowie’s experience has become a way for Dr Taubert and his team to communicate very openly about death; a challenging topic of conversation he claims doctors and nurses often struggle to approach.

Dr Taubert addresses notions commonly associated with death, for example, the misconception that death primarily takes place in a clinical environment such as hospitals. On the other hand, by using Bowie’s decision to die at home as an example, Dr Taubert identifies other options that are available and hopes that Bowie’s experience will encourage others to pursue and research these alternative options should they so wish.

Dr Taubert also comments on advance care planning which benefits both the patient and their loved ones. As Tauber states, ‘[this is] an area not just palliative care professionals, but in fact all healthcare workers want to provide and improve.’

At Myton, we believe everyone is entitled to a good natural death, the way they want it to be. We practice advanced care planning and believe this is vital to providing the individualistic care and support available to all of our patients.

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