NUS MediCine Feature Article:
Conversations Worth Having
As medical students, all of us have had opportunities to visit hospitals for our clinical attachments, where we often see patients and family members at the most vulnerable moments of their lives. As much as we can empathise with patients, their experiences can seem far-fetched and distant though they matter much more to the patients’ loved ones than we could ever imagine. Some patients recover and go home, but for others, there is little hope for recovery. In the face of deteriorating health and impending death, not everyone is prepared to have those die-logues.
At Project Happy Apples, we want to help Singaporeans live a life with purpose and have a good death. This year, prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we replaced our traditional Public Exhibition with a Web Series. Having barely any experience with video production, the committee embraced the challenge head-on. The Web Series featured two medical students, Ethan Maniam and Novia Long, whose experiences in caring for their loved ones until the final moments prove how important it is to treasure every day spent with our loved ones. We also interviewed healthcare professionals in various specialties to learn more about their roles in providing palliative care for their patients.
Ethan and Novia’s candid reflections make the impersonal personal—their sharing help us understand death from the perspective of a caregiver and a medical student. Both held regrets. For Ethan, it was...