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Suicide and Assisted Dying: The difference is more than just wording - Wellington


Suicide and Assisted Dying: The difference is more than just wording - Wellington

The private member’s bill to legalise assisted dying in this country has evoked a very passionate and at times heated public discussion about whether people have the right to end their life at a time of their choosing and, if so, under what circumstances. It presents a combination of philosophical, moral, legal and ethical dilemmas which cannot be answered solely by one of these domains.

This workshop provides participants an opportunity to explore this complex interrelationship of factors as a way of clarifying the differences between the narrative of the suicidal person vis a vis the person wishing to determine their imminent death due to terminal illness. This clarification is critical as each narrative requires quite distinct and different response by professionals.

The meaning of death for the suicidal person is also not singular ranging from desire to escape intolerable ‘psych ache” through to the existential sense that life has not meaning nor purpose. Also to be covered are the issues of the lack of quality of life as a justification for ending one’s life especially those experiencing chronic mental illness or non-terminal illnesses such as chronic pain.

The issues for those bereaved by suicide or assisted dying will also be covered as once again there are both differences and similarities in people’s responses to the deaths.  Bereavement related suicidality will also be covered.

The workshop is an exploration of the issues rather than the presentation of definitive answers. There will be opportunity for open discussion and the raising of issues for group consideration. 

Designed specifically for those working in hospice, palliative care and loss and grief support, it allows for those from these sectors to collectively examine these issues from the philosophical approach of palliative and hospice care and the tensions that arise with the issues of assisted dying or suicide.

Topics covered:

The phenomenon of suicide – its meaning and the narrative of despair

Assisted Dying - What it is and and why it is such a dilemma

When does it stop being assisted suicide and becomes suicidality?

Depression and dying

Drawing the line – who we allow to voluntarily end their life and who we don’t allow

Quality of life and the existential motivator for living

Supporting those bereaved by suicide and assisted dying

Bereavement related suicidality


This workshop would be of value to:

Hospice workers


Palliative care physicians

District Nurses

Allied health professionals

Counsellors and therapists

Chaplains and pastoral care workers

Grief support group facilitators

Workers from illness based support organisations - e.g. Cancer Society


An opportunity for a day of learning with internationally respected suicidologist, Barry Taylor

Barry has proven leadership over 30 years at local, national and international levels in using community initiatives and strength-based approaches to improve individual and community wellbeing and the prevention suicide. His work began leading New Zealand’s first national response to youth suicide in the late 1980s.  He has provided consultancy services to World Health Organisation, Commonwealth Secretariat and State and Federal government in Australia.  He has lectured and mentored programmes, both nationally and internationally, and been appointed to numerous government advisory committees on mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. In 2016 he was awarded the NSW Mental Health Commissioner's Community Champion Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to mental wellbeing and suicide prevention. In 1990 he was a Winston Churchill Fellow.

Arising out of his work with those bereaved by suicide, he has been heavily involved in the loss and grief sector. He was a founding member of the National Association of Loss and Grief (NALAG) in NZ and was State President of NALAG in Victoria.  He was involved in the development of a loss and grief practitioner Accreditation programme as was the inaugural convenor of the Accreditation Committee. He has also developed and piloted an industry based Certificate of Bereavement Studies for the Australian Funeral Directors Association. He is an experienced grief counsellor using narrative approaches with a particular interest of working with men dealing with loss and trauma throughout their lifespan.

 From the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Barry was very involved in supporting people dying of AIDS. This quite often involved having at one time a discussion about their death and their desire to decide on the time and how they died.  It was from these discussions that forced Barry to examine his own attitudes towards euthanasia and assisted dying, particularly in light of his work in suicide prevention as well as working out if the phenomenon and social meaning of suicide was the same as that of assisted dying..  This was further highlighted by his work on depression and suicide in older people and his analysis of older people’s suicides in New Zealand, many of whom adopted methods advocated by euthanasia publications. It is this thinking and work which informs the content of this workshop.

 After a number of years overseas, Barry is living back in New Zealand and is passionate about building the knowledge base, competence and capability within country to effectively respond to the unacceptably high rates of suicide in this country.


Minimum Number of Participants:  15.       Maximum Number of Participants:  30Places in each workshop are limited. If the workshop is full please register your name on the waitlist. TaylorMade Training and Consulting reserve the right to cancel the workshop if there are not the minimum number of registrations. If cancelled a full refund will be given.

Catering:This workshop is fully catered. Please indicate in the registration process if you have any particular dietary requirements.  If you register after the registration closing date, while every effort will be made, your dietarty requirements may not be able to be catered.

ScholarshipsThere is a limited number of partial and full scholarships for those wishing to attend the workshop. Full scholarships are available for mental health consumers, carers and volunteers. Partial scholarships of either 25%, 50% or 75% are available for workers from community organisations who receive little or no government funding or full time tertiary students in health, social service and disability related courses. Further information on scholarships are available on the TaylorMade website.

Cancellation and Refund PolicyIf you are no longer able to attend the workshop please cancel your registration as soon as possible.

Cancellation up to five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop: Full Refund less $25 admin fee

Cancellation within five working days prior to the commencement of the workshop:No refund but registration can be transferred to another person. To transfer your registration log on to your registration and update the name and contact details to the new person attending.

No show on the day of workshop: No refund

Organiser Contact Details

Barry TaylorPrincipal ConsultantTaylorMade Training and Consulting

Email:       YmFycnkgfCB0YXlsb3JtYWRldHJhaW5pbmdjb25zdWx0aW5nICEgY29tT2ZmaWNl:      04 905 6145Mobile:     022 470 1852Website:
Ticket Information Ticket Price
Registration Fee NZD 195

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