Let's be open about end-of-life issues

The exhibition Both Sides, Now, presented by the Lien Foundation and the Ang Chin Moh Foundation, is a good attempt to get people to talk about death and dying, as reported in "Would you take my obituary shot?" (The New Paper, Sept 20).

Death is something we will all have to face sooner or later, but we may not understand it. And people tend to be afraid of what they do not understand.

It may also be a touchy topic, so we may not raise it for fear of offending someone.

But if we are open about it, we can talk about it in a practical and rational manner.

Our loved ones can spend their last days differently if they are fully aware that they are not alone, and that they are loved and valued till their last breath.

In reaching out to Singaporeans in the heartlands in Khatib and Toa Payoh Central, the organisers hope to capture a wider spectrum of the public. But not everyone, especially the elderly who are less mobile, can make their way to the exhibitions.

So it would be good if our broadcasters could have TV forums and radio shows on end-of-life issues to complement the exhibition.

Counsellors, doctors in palliative care and relatives who are coping with the loss of a loved one could participate.

As most elderly citizens tend to embrace a faith in their final journey, broadcasters could also invite religious leaders to participate in these programmes.

Also, as local Chinese dramas have a large following, it would be helpful if the topic is covered in a positive way in such productions.