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Medical News & Perspectives
June 26, 2019

Building a Better Death, One Conversation at a Time

JAMA. 2019;322(3):195-197. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.6885

The Departure Lounge in London’s Lewisham Shopping Centre offered lots of supplies for a visitor’s journey: suitcases, travel tips, and guides to answer questions. But booking round-trip passage wasn’t on the itinerary. On this voyage, the final destination was death.

The Departure Lounge is a UK campaign spearheaded by the Academy of Medical Sciences to get people talking about death. Forget euphemisms like passing away, pushing up daisies, kicking the bucket, or in the British vernacular, popping your clogs. This is immersion in a conversation about death, complete with a soundtrack. A companion event at the Old Tigers Head pub in London, called Dead Beats, was billed as a lighthearted look at choosing funeral music.

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