Professionals as Midwives for the Dying

The Atlantic: Richard Gunderman | December 16, 2013


A physician and nurse practitioner discuss the emerging role of medical professionals who ease the death process. There is no one right way to die, but just as we need help coming into the world, we need support and love going out of it. Enter the Death Midwife.

Dying, like life, can go poorly or well, and those who know it well are in a position to make an important difference. In the last few decades a new type of health professional has emerged whose contributions to dying resemble—of all people—those of a midwife.

For millennia, midwives have cared for and assisted childbearing women throughout pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period. Particularly for women who have never given birth before, the support and experience of a death midwife can reduce anxiety and confusion, decrease pain, and at least at times, even make the experience more peaceful.

Dragonfly Collective is committed to fostering the resilience of people’s family and/or loved ones throughout the journey.