A Call to Action: An IWG Charter for a Public Health Approach to Dying, Death, and Loss

Carl Becker, Elizabeth Clark, Lynne A. Despelder, John Dawes, John Ellershaw, Glennys Howarth, Allan Kellehear, Suresh Kumar, Barbara Monroe, Patrice O'Connor, David Oliviere, Marilyn Relf, John Rosenberg, Louise Rowling, Phyllis Silverman, Diana J. Wilkie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The current systems of care for dying persons, the people caring for them, and the bereaved operate in ways that frequently lack sufficient sensitivity to their needs. We describe a new model for dying, death, and loss that adopts a public health approach. Specifically, we describe a deliberative process that resulted in a charter for a public health approach to dying, death, and loss. Modeled after the World Health Organization's 1986 Ottawa Charter, our charter includes a call to action. It has the potential to bring about significant change on local, societal, and global levels as exemplified by four projects from three countries. Public health and end-of-life services and organizations need to form partnerships with the community to develop a public health approach to dying, death, and loss. Learning from each other, they will affirm and enhance community beliefs and practices that make death part of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-420
Number of pages20
JournalOmega: Journal of Death and Dying
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Cite this