Dr. Peter Fenwick, prominent neuropsychiatrist in association with the Clinical Neuroscience Division University of Southampton studied end-of-life-experiences in de UK.
‘Anecdotal evidence from carers has led us to consider that death appears to be a process rather than a single event in time. Death may be heralded by ‘deathbed phenomena’ such as visions that comfort the dying person and help to prepare them for death. Medical practitioners have been slow to recognize deathbed phenomena and there has been little research into the frequency, occurrence and effect that these experiences have on carers and how these phenomena influence their work. This means that existential or spiritual issues arising for palliative care workers when confronted with deathbed phenomena haven been neglected.’
Peter Fenwick’s world-wide research has been carried out by Ineke Koedam in the Netherlands. Hospices which contributed are: Hospice De Vier Vogels in Rotterdam, Johannes Hospitium in Wilnis and Hospice Kajan in Hilversum.
The survey has been designed to gain a better understanding of deathbed phenomena, so called end-of-life-experiences. The objective is to estimate the frequency of occurrence and phenomenology of these experiences, the impact they may have on those who care for the dying and to explore how to help carers understand and cope with these phenomena.
Peter Fenwick and his wife Elizabeth are the authors of The art of Dying.
With Suye Brayne Peter Fenwick wrote two pamphlets: ‘Nearing the end of life’, a guide for family and friends and ‘End-of-life-experiences’, a guide for carers. Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for a free copy.