Thursday, October 6, 2011

End of Life and a Good Death - PhD project Survey

From one (Steve Job's) death to another, though this post is more academics in nature and about a PhD project survey relating to the end of life and a good death, the latter is probably a good example of an oxymoron. How can a death be good, you ask. I understand the context here is in relation to taking necessary measures so that everything will be taken care of when the time comes.

Besides 'change', 'death' is the other certainty in life. Like what Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Commencement address at Stanford, no one has yet escaped it.

In Oriental cultures, death is a taboo topic, especially not to be mentioned during auspicious events such as the Chinese New Year, birthdays and certainly not in front of elders. Because of that, death is hardly mentioned at home not even in the context of preparing for it in advance unless during an actual funerary preparation.

We don't see it this way but the crux of it is that life is in fact terminal. It has an expiry date. The day we were born, we have been going towards the expiry date. Sounds morbid, I know, but true.

Robin, a fellow-blogger located in Singapore, is conducting a research survey on End of Life and a Good Death for his PhD project. Robin needs 500 responses. We can help him achieve that by taking the anonymous survey as well as requesting participation from our friends and family. Feel free to forward this post. I'll let Robin tell you what it is.

I am conducting a research survey on End of Life and a Good Death for my PhD project. It's my PhD project which I have completed the pilot study and now going into full research.

The idea started as a feedback of my previous public lectures and the intention is to create awareness of this important topic since it's a taboo in so many societies. Understanding the meaning of death alone can plant the seed for accepting and thus preparing death.

The results of the research will provide generalizable knowledge of the attitudes and experiences of our community on a good death and we could fill the gaps of the knowledge through public education, talks and other supports.

We would be grateful if you took a few minutes to fill in this anonymous research on End of Life Care and a Good Death. With your voluntary participation to provide honest feedback to us, the research content can only get better and benefit more people in the future. Please feel free to ignore survey questions that you are not comfortable answering.

Click here to take the survey. Not to worry, it's an anonymous survey.


  1. Thanks a lot for your help.

    Death is certain but the time of death is never certain. People who live their life as if there is no death will end up in a rude shock.

    If anyone knew that they would die tomorrow, I am sure they are kinder and nicer today.

    I hope you can help me complete this research by giving your honest opinion. THANK YOU>

  2. Done! But why wait till when one is about to die to be kinder and nicer can start right now~;). Good luck Robin in receiving your Permanent head Damage. All the best.

  3. Robin, indeed time of death is not certain.

    Bananaz has a point, we should all be kinder and nicer all the time not wait until the eve of death.

    Bananaz, thank you. Good point you've made there.

  4. Death is not a taboo subject among Buddhists. Well, at least not in the communities Theravada Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism...

  5. Good Point, Bananaz@.. but how many people actually practice what they say?