Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Talking about death and dying: Findings from deliberative discussion groups with members of the public

Wilson, Eleanor; Caswell, Glenys; Turner, Nicola; Pollock, Kristian


Glenys Caswell


Talking about death and dying is promoted in UK health policy and practice, from a perception that to do so encourages people to plan for their end of life and so increase their likelihood of experiencing a good death. This encouragement occurs alongside a belief that members of the public are reluctant to talk about death, although surveys suggest this is not the case. This paper describes findings from a research study in which people participated in deliberative discussion groups during which they talked about a range of topics related to death, including talking about death, the good death, choice and planning and compassionate communities. Here we report what they had to say in relation to talking about death and dying. We identified three themes: 1. The difference between talking about death as an abstract concept and confronting the certainty of death, 2. how death and dying presents issues for planning and responsibility, and 3. approaches to normalising death within society. For our participants, planning was considered most appropriate in relation to wills and funerals, while dying was considered too unpredictable to be easy to plan for; they had complex ideas about the value of talking about death and dying.


Wilson, E., Caswell, G., Turner, N., & Pollock, K. (2022). Talking about death and dying: Findings from deliberative discussion groups with members of the public. Mortality,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 2, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 11, 2022
Publication Date Nov 11, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 2, 2022
Journal Mortality
Print ISSN 1357-6275
Electronic ISSN 1469-9885
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Philosophy; Religious studies; Health (social science)
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations