Rebecca Brown challenges our American discomfort with death by sharing experiences from her work with hospitalized adolescents and young adults who are suffering or dying. She suggests that our “pornographic” relationship with death creates fear, anxiety, and loneliness for those who are dying, and that for the living, the illusion that death is avertible, unnatural, and obscene. Brown is the founder and director of Streetlight, a support program that partners premedical and healthcare students with young people who are living with a chronic illness or fear of an early death. Preliminary research reports the experience to be transformational for both patient and the healthcare student. No stranger to Gainesville, she has worked with adolescents in the community for almost 30 years, first through a church-based program and now through the Department of Pediatrics at UF&Shands Childrens Hospital.
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