Metaphor in end-of-life care (MELC)

Metaphor in End-of-Life Care:
An event for anyone interested in how we talk about death and dying

Wednesday 14 May, 4.30-6pm, Quaker Meeting House (William Stout Room)
Meeting House Lane, Lancaster LA1 1TX

Journeys and pathways, battles and fights: For the past 18 months, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at Lancaster University has investigated how people use metaphors, or verbal imagery, to talk about experiences at the end of life. Illness, emotions, relationships and death are among the experiences for which people use metaphors to express, reflect and shape their views, feelings, needs and attitudes.

The project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, brings together expertise from linguists, computer scientists and a health psychologist from the University's International Observatory on End-of-Life Care. The seven-strong team has investigated 1.5 million words interviews with, and online forum contributions by, patients, family carers and health care professionals in a bid to improve communications for those nearing the end of their lives. A better understanding of people's uses of metaphor can help to identify possible sources of misunderstanding, and the study is therefore intended to inform policy-making and the training of health professionals.

An end-of-project event will take place on 14 May at the Quaker Meeting House in Lancaster. As part of Dying Matters Awareness Week 2014, we will present some of our findings to anyone interested in the topic - including, but not limited to, people living with dying, family carers and healthcare professionals - and hope to encourage a discussion about this truly universal topic.

For more information, please contact Veronika Koller (

See also the project website: and the Dying Matters website:

ESRC logo Lancaster University logo International Observatory on End of Life Care UCREL research centre

This page last modified on Friday 13 August 2021 at 4:43 pm .