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Dying in the 21st Century: conference held in York

Posted on 29 June 2017

A theological symposium addressing one of life’s most difficult subjects - death and dying - will take place at the York Medical Society this weekend.

Credit: Tim Saunders

Hosted by the University of York and Cardiff University as part of a national ‘Christian Perspectives on Death and Dying’ project, it will be held on Saturday 1 July from 10.00am to 4.30pm.

The thought-provoking conference will explore a range of contemporary questions about death and dying, especially those posed by the advance of medical technologies.

End of life decisions

Academic, medical and theological experts will present and lead debates about the challenges around end of life decisions, whether for oneself or for loved-ones who are unable to decide for themselves.

Speakers include three academics from the University of York: Professor Celia Kitzinger, Coma & Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre; Professor Sue Wilkinson, Advance Decisions Assistance; and Dr Poppy Nash, Lecturer in Education, who will talk about her mother’s death.  

Other speakers include: Dr Idris Baker, palliative care consultant; Revd Canon Dr Christopher Collingwood, Chancellor at York Minster; Dr Jacqueline Davis, Health Care Professionals for Assisted Dying; Professor Jenny Kitzinger, Coma & Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre, Cardiff; Revd David Williamson, Spiritual Care Lead at St Leonard's Hospice; and Dr Esther McIntosh, Director of Theology & Religious Studies at York St John University.

Complex issues

Professor Celia Kitzinger said: “This event should not be perceived in any way as morbid - it is intended to make people aware of complex issues which can arise surrounding end of life, and how to deal with them practically and spiritually. There will be informed speakers who will lead discussions and be able to explain these key issues and offer reassurance too.”

The conference is open to all: the public, healthcare professionals, and for those who provide pastoral, medical, social or religious support services. It is free to attend for those who book a place in advance, or £5 on the door.

Further information:

  • ‘Christian Perspectives on Death and Dying’ will be held at York Medical Society, 23 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AW on Saturday 1st July 2017, 10.00am (doors open 09.30am) until 4.30pm. For further information and booking, visit:

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