St Elizabeth Hospice tweaks new manifesto after public criticise line: ‘death is not a tragedy’

St Elizabeth Hospice's main site in Foxhall Road, Ipswich. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

St Elizabeth Hospice's main site in Foxhall Road, Ipswich. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE - Credit: Archant

The charity launched its ‘Don’t let death kill life’ campaign this week but some people raised concern about parts of the manifesto as they claimed death can in certain cases be a tragedy

A charity that has embarked on a mission to change the conversation around death has altered the wording of its new manifesto after facing criticism from members of the public.

St Elizabeth Hospice, which runs palliative care services in Ipswich and east Suffolk, has this week launched a fresh campaign called ‘Don’t let death kill life’, which aims to empower people with a terminal illness as well as their families to not let the prospect of death rob them of the life they have left.

As part of this campaign, the charity has released a daring manifesto, which had started with: ‘Death is a reality, but it’s not a tragedy’.

When looked at in isolation from the rest of the statement, this line sparked concern for some readers as they claimed in certain cases death can be a tragedy.

Adrian Rawlinson, head of communications at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “As a hospice we have said that we want to change the conversation about death, that involves us listening too and after picking up on some feedback we have made a small change to this manifesto.

“Yesterday the first two lines of our manifesto, ‘Death is a reality, but it’s not a tragedy’ were separated from the rest of our message which goes on to say that often a greater tragedy is that those living with a progressive illnesses can lose the quality of life that they have left to them, and that we as a hospice we restore hope, ease pain, give life purpose and make life liveable.

“We became aware during the day that out of context of the wider message, people were quite rightly questioning the line ‘but it’s not a tragedy’.

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“We wanted to acknowledge those concerns that had been expressed, and be respectful of those people who have had experience of death as a tragedy, and have therefore changed our line to but ‘it’s not always a tragedy’.

“This change, we believe, softens the message but we hope will not deflect from the core message that to be able to enhance life for our patients, we do as a society need to be able to talk about death.”

St Elizabeth Hospice launched this new drive to tie in with national Hospice Care Week (October 9-15).

The full manifesto can be read here.

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