Guiding people at the end of their life

Dr Katherine Allsopp.
Dr Katherine Allsopp.

Dr Katherine Allsopp says guiding people at the end of their life is one of the joys of her job.

The vibrant and well-respected doctor has shared her thoughts about her role as a staff specialist in Supportive and Palliative Care medicine at Westmead Hospital as part of Western Sydney Local Health District’s Humans of the Hospital series.

“Sometimes I need to break the news to people about their terminal illness and help them understand it. I guide them through everything,” Dr Allsopp said.

“When people face the truth that they are dying, it’s a lot less frightening. It gives people a timeframe to do what they need to do to wrap up their business here on earth. The humility and graciousness people show when they are dying is amazing.

“I often really connect with my patients, and when they pass away, I shed a tear with the family.

“I have seen many patients pass away before they turn 30. Every single one is extraordinary in preparing for their death and making the most of the time they have left. There’s amazing things people do that give you hope for humanity.

“My job has taught me the importance of reflecting on your own values in life. It keeps you grounded from the consumerism that goes on out there. Life is a blessed thing. You have to go out there and enjoy it.”