The Greek philosopher, Epicurus, wrote “The art of living well and dying well are one.” However, most of us spend our lives desperately trying to avoid even thinking about dying, never mind preparing for it.
An exception is Dr. Christian Ntizimira, a Rwandan surgeon, who founded the African Center for Research on End-of-Life Care. He has thought long and hard about the social, psychological, cultural, and spiritual factors, as well as the physiological ones, that shape the final days of someone who is dying. Of course, it’s not just the patient about whom he is thinking, but also family, friends, and community.
Admittedly, death is not one of those topics that make for a comfortable conversation or a comfortable listening experience. But as Shakespeare wrote for Julius Caesar, “Death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” So listen to this episode of New Thinking for a New World and tell us if it helps you think a bit differently about your own inevitable demise.
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Christian Ntizimira, Rwanda, is the founder and executive director of the African Center for Research on End-of-Life Care (ACREOL), a non-profit organization to bring socio-cultural equality through “Ubuntu in End-of-Life Care” in Africa. He is a Fulbright alumni and graduated from Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Dr. Ntizimira began his medical career planning to become a surgeon, but the consequences of the Genocide against the Tutsis in 1994 led him to a passion for palliative care. He believes that end-of-life care is a human right, and that such care should prioritize individual dignity, local values, humanity, and Ubuntu. To that end, he founded and has led ACREOL since October 2019 and has also become a leading advocate for developing palliative care in low- and middle-income countries recognized through the World Hospice and Palliative Care Alliance.