Can you tell me a bit about the Buddhist Network for Good Death?
The network began about ten years ago. Our mandate is to advocate for how to use Buddhism in your everyday life. Talking about death allows you to think about your life.
We arrange workshops called: ‘Peaceful Death’ for healthcare professionals, patients, caregivers, and anyone who is interested in this issue about how to deal with people at the end of life.
We integrate medical knowledge about palliative care and Buddhist perspectives to dealing with end of life.
Can you tell me what is the Buddhist philosophy to the end of life?
It is that we should know that death is natural. Everyone must face death. When we face death, we should accept this situation and through this, we should learn about ourselves.
It is a crisis, but it is also an opportunity to review your relationships, to remind you to focus on the time that you have now.
You realise that it is important that you spend quality time with family, loved ones and those who have meaning for you.
In Buddhism, we believe that death is just a way to transfer from this life to the next. It is important to use the moment of dying to respect life and carry the good things, the good memories, to the next life.
How are you involved with the Thai Palliative Care Society?
We would like to advocate for people to know that death and dying are natural processes. You should prepare yourself, prepare your parents and your loved ones. You need to prepare a living will, to ask forgiveness from people.
There is an obstruction in Thai society that you don’t talk about death. This is the main problem; we don’t want to discuss death and dying.
We wanted to open a space to talk about death and dying in Thai society. With the ‘Before I die’ exhibition, we want people to open their opinion about death and dying. It is a space where everyone knows right now what is important for you to do.
Next year we have a project funded by the Thai Health Promotions Fund to arrange awareness-raising events at different places around the country. We are working with the Thai Palliative Care Society to support policy development, training and strengthening the health service.
We work closely with the Thai Palliative Care Society. We agree that palliative care is not just about strengthening the health system, we can strengthen people too.