Midwifing Death Correspondence
Course (MDCC) Format
This interactive correspondence course is designed to inform, empower and guide adults in the art of Midwifing Death.
On completing the course, participants will have an enhanced understanding of the physical and psycho-spiritual needs of the sick and dying, and will be sufficiently skilled to become an amicus (companion or friend) to any person living with a life-limiting illness.
The course facilitators are Michael Barbato, a retired palliative care physician, and Ann Barbato, a bereavement counsellor and yoga teacher. Both have many years of experience in their respective professional fields. They are assisted by Judith Hunt, a retired community/palliative care nurse who now volunteers within a hospital setting as a Chaplain and palliative care volunteer.
Courses run for 25 weeks and commence in the first week of February and July of each year. During the 25-week period participants will submit six essays, attend a compulsory weekend workshop (unless enrolled in the Distance Learning Programme) and complete the required readings. They are urged to keep up with the reading material (see below) and to submit essays by the due date. This helps to maintain a learning momentum and ensures there is no overlap between courses. Extensions, however, will be considered for extenuating circumstances.
Each participant who satisfactorily completes the course will receive a certificate confirming their involvement.
The course is divided into 25 weeks as follows (click tab to review):
You can download a more detailed PDF version of the Course Format here.
Essays should be emailed in Word format to Michael Barbato. Each will be appraised by Michael and by Ann or Judith. Essays will be marked as ‘complete’ or ‘incomplete’. Grades will not be allocated but comments and suggestions will be recorded for the benefit of the participant. Incomplete essays are to be revised according to the comments made and resubmitted prior to commencing the following essay.
The readings, video links and reference material that accompanies the coursework have been selected to stimulate thinking around each essay. They are purely a guide and not meant to dissuade you from doing your own reading around the topic. Media reports, television documentaries and the internet often provide a different, but useful perspective. We are particularly interested in the view you have formed on the topic based on your personal experience as well as the readings and research.
The essays are not meant to be academic but a well-informed and balanced view based on what you know, believe and have experienced personally.
Many of the recommended books are available through public libraries. Most are held in our home library and can be borrowed for two weeks if you cannot access them locally. Postage is one of our greatest expenses so we ask that you bear this in mind when ordering books. As many of the recommended books are in demand, borrowed books should be returned as early as possible ensuring they are well packaged to avoid damage while in transit.
A journal is a useful tool for those doing the course. As Stephen Levine said: working with the dying is working on myself. When our emotions are heightened we have an opportunity to become more aware of them and heal them. Addressing them with the aid of a journal helps to improve our Emotional Intelligence (EQ), which in this context is better described as emotional maturity. Most importantly, it enables us be more present for the dying and their family.
Last but not least, the journal is a valuable resource when writing your final essay.