Launch of video on palliative care


Josephine Graham was diagnosed with cancer for the second time two years ago. She is now a regular day patient at Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross. “I’m still on my journey,” she declared cheerfully yesterday at the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, at the launch of an information video about palliative care.

The 30-minute video, which was launched by broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, is a joint initiative between Our Lady’s Hospice and St James’s Hospital. It can be viewed on their websites and is also available in DVD form.

Graham is one of the participants featured in the video. “It will give people information,” she explained. “When you are diagnosed in the beginning, you don’t even know what questions to ask.”

In addition to contributions from broadcasters O’Callaghan, Gay Byrne and Charlie Bird, the video features patients such as Graham talking clearly and openly about their experience of receiving palliative care. It also features several people from the care teams at James’s and Our Lady’s Hospice. They cover topics that include communication, fears of becoming addicted to morphine, coping with the shock of diagnosis and spiritual and physical care.

One of the team members from James’s is Catriona Corcoran, a clinical nurse specialist. “There is a massive taboo around palliative care,” she says. “There is an old myth that it is about end-of-life care. It no longer is. It is about living until you die.”