In touch with the dead

Published on: Author: Marian Krawczyk Leave a comment

One of the most fundamental ways we show love and connection is through touch. This behaviour is so central to our understanding of what it means to be in relationship with another person that visual representations of touch have become one of the most common visual forms of ‘shorthand’ to indicate compassionate caring, including at… Continue reading

The launch of the new Cicely Saunders biography

Published on: Author: milagerson 2 Comments

I recall learning of Cicely Saunders’ death in July 2005. It was morning in the Pacific Northwest and I was planning my day of home visits with hospice patients and families. I had greatly admired the woman who created and embodied an approach to care for dying that acknowledged the whole person as they were… Continue reading

The challenge of caring for frail older people as they enter the last year of their lives

Published on: Author: chrisisles Leave a comment

One of the greatest challenges facing the NHS, in this its 70th anniversary year, is the care of  ageing and increasingly frail older people.  End of life care is not something that we as doctors seem to want to talk about, which means that when patients are admitted as an emergency to hospital the default… Continue reading

Translating Kerala’s Community-Based Palliative Care To West Bengal, India

Kerala’s community model for palliative care has sustained attention in global palliative care discourse, as an alternative, resource-effective form of organizing. What distinguishes the community model from professional-centric models such as hospices and hospitals, is that the community volunteers serve as the anchor in coordinating ‘total-care’ – i.e., medical, social, financial support and rehabilitation –… Continue reading

Affective and Ethical Tightropes of Witnessing – Highlights from our PhD Workshop

Published on: Author: Jacqueline Kandsberger Leave a comment

One of Dame Cicely Saunders’ most enduring legacies is the importance of being present, of witnessing, at the end of life. Academic witnessing at the margins of life and death can require balancing an intense intimacy with simultaneously gaining enough distance to ‘see’ significant or representative broader concepts. What does this mean for us as… Continue reading

Collaboration on Suffering and Autonomy at the End of Life

Published on: Author: jennifercorns 1 Comment

Suffering and pain present both practical and theoretical problems. This might be surprising. Having long faced the problem of pain, we might have expected it, by now, to be solved. Pain treatment, however, remains woefully inadequate. Chronic pain is not only often incurable and difficult to manage, it is proliferating. Pain treatment and management are… Continue reading

Assisted dying, suffering and dying as a work of art

Published on: Author: Gitte Koksvik 2 Comments

As an anthropologist, I am interested in assisted dying as a cultural practice and in the discourse surrounding it. What does it tell us about our culture and about its values? In line with historian Shai Lavi, I too contend that the most interesting ethical question pertaining to assisted dying is not “what should we do” but… Continue reading