Mortality has loomed large over 2020, and although we are now in the earliest stages of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and an end is in sight, the pandemic's toll will reverberate for years to come. Couple that with the ongoing, exacerbated effects of climate change, and, well, it's been a seriously morbid year. To help comprehend the immutable fact of our own, eventual demise that's been so front and center these past months, the U.K. has launched an online service seeking to help alleviate some of our most ubiquitous, understandable fears.
Life Support, a new website collaboration between a London-based creative studio called The Liminal Space and the British government, aims to educate the public and destigmatize conversations regarding everything surrounding death and dying. "Every one of us will eventually die, and the better prepared we are for the end of our life, the better the experience is likely to be," reads the site's About page. By working with experts in End of Life and Palliative Care, Life Support provides "practical advice, personal experiences and tips," on sparking discussions about what remains a largely taboo subject.
Minimal layout for a complicated subject — Life Support's minimalist site interface is populated by cartoon bubbles containing simple, yet widespread, concerns related to our last days like "I'm scared to have a painful death," "I need to talk to someone with COVID-19 about dying," and "How do I help someone have a good death?" Each bubble links out to a scrollable subsection offering useful conversation starters, audio snippets from experts on the subject, as well as the ability to save sections to your personal computer to share with loved ones in the future.
There's more to Life Support than online counseling, though. Sections also include brief primers on potentially difficult, but still necessary, plans like an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment.
Important information for the general public — Life Support's offerings may not be revolutionary or unique, since physical pamphlets containing similar information have long been available in hospital settings, but even aside from all of 2020's tragedy, it's vital this sort of education is as publicly accessible as possible.
Providing the tools on a simple, government-funded site like Life Support is a great way to healthily tackle such a solemn subject. If nothing else, it certainly offers a contrast to comprehending death through turning actual human bones into D20 dice. Life Support might be healthier, but it certainly isn't nearly as metal...