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By Allan Kellehear

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Living with chronic disease has become a new version of the assumption that there can be a too early death. Consequently death from chronic conditions is transformed into a new version of Volume 16, Issue 5, December 2007 Avoiding death: The ultimate challenge in the provision of contemporary healthcare? the preventable and using Kellehear’s words, therefore potentially shameful death. Acceptance of the possibility of an ‘accurate diagnosis’ of medical conditions, conditions that can then be named and promoted as being preventable, makes it not only possible to speak of avoiding death, but also of individuals being irresponsible if they die of such conditions because such a death could be prevented until that death is able to fit the parameters of the acceptable.

And Schamaling, K. (2002) ‘Psychological aspects of asthma’ Consulting and Clinical Psychology 70(3):691-711. Price, K. (2006) ‘Health promotion and some implications of consumer choice’ Journal of Nursing Management 14(6):494-501. Seale, C. (1998) Constructing Death: The Sociology of Dying and Bereavement Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. J. (1993) Integrating Social Support In Nursing Sage: Newbury Park, CA. National Health Priority Action Council (2005) National Chronic Disease Strategy Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: Canberra available at http://www.

And very few children have reasons to visit cemeteries as the incidence of death among those dear to us is something that increases with age. 6). 25 20 15 % 10 5 0 0-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 Australian Pop. Cemetery Clients 80 + Figure 6 Ages of cemetery visitors compared with the general population [Source: Bachelor 2004 HEALTH SOCIOLOGY REVIEW 411 Philip Bachelor More than half of all Australian funerals involve cremation (Australasian Cemeteries and Crematoria Association (1998:9), yet only onefifth of all cemetery visits relate to cremation memorials (Bachelor 2004:88).

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