School of Population Health

Is it the right time to talk about end of life care?

Image Joel Rhee seminar
Event date : 
Wed, 04/08/2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Location : 
Seminar is available by clicking on Teams Link available below under Further info URL

Despite recent advances in healthcare and medical technology, the mortality rate of human beings remains at 100%. However, people are generally living longer and the pattern of causes of death has changed in the 21st century, with many people dying from chronic health conditions such as circulatory diseases and cancer. The incidence of multimorbidity, or the presence of two or more chronic diseases, has also been increasing with an average of 3.3 diseases recorded on the death certificate in 2018.

Despite the fact that death is a universal human experience, we do not seem to be well prepared for death. Many people do not talk to their health providers about their preferences for end-of-life care, and the period preceding death is often characterised by unmet care needs, inadequately controlled symptoms, psychosocial distress, caregiver burden, unplanned hospital admissions and the use of invasive investigations and procedures.

This seminar will discuss the potential solutions to this problem, as well as their limitations. It will conclude by suggesting a radical re-think of how healthcare decisions should be made in people with chronic health problems.

About the presenter

Joel Rhee is associate professor of general practice at the University of Wollongong, adjunct associate professor at the School of Population Health UNSW, chair of the RACGP cancer and palliative care network, and GP clinical lead at the HammondCare Centre for Positive Ageing + Care with special interest in end-of-life care and aged care. Joel’s research is focused on optimising quality of life and enhancing decision-making in patients with end-of-life care needs especially in outpatient and community settings. His research in the past five years has included randomised controlled trial of an intervention to help identify patients with end-of-life care needs in the community, randomised controlled trial of facilitated advance care planning in people with end-of-life care needs attending specialist outpatient clinics, development of an all-of-practice approach to advance care planning and end-of-life care in general practice, a data linkage study examining cancer care in rural NSW, and an NHMRC-funded study on lung cancer screening and smoking cessation. Joel has been the GP educational lead for the Advance Project, an Australian Government initiative aimed at training GPs and general practice nurses to assist frail and elderly people in making decisions about their future care. 

Open to : 
Open to all
Cost : 
Free - no booking required
Event Type : 
School/Unit : 
UNSW School of Population Health
Contact for inquiries : 
Ravit Danieli-Vlandis
Booking deadline :