Being human in the face of ‘personalisation’, and what that means when we come to the end of our lives

Published on: Author: Jacqueline Kandsberger Leave a comment
Jackie Kandsberger on the University of Glasgow Dumfries Campus

All over the USA people are crying out that we have lost the ability to communicate with our fellow man, that words no longer even have the same meaning to each of us in our polarised society. Brexit, Trump … slowly the eyes of the world are turning to the next western elections: France, then Germany. When… Continue reading

Assisted suicide as a remedy for suffering? The end-of-life preferences of British “suicide tourists”

Published on: Author: Dr Naomi Richards Leave a comment

Individuals’ aesthetic preferences for a good death are as significant as physical suffering in decisions to opt for an assisted suicide. This is the main finding from my anthropological study, now available as an open access article Assisted Suicide as a Remedy for Suffering? The End-of-Life Preferences of British “Suicide Tourists” in the journal Medical Anthropology.… Continue reading

To Comfort Always: a history of palliative medicine since the nineteenth century

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment
to-comfort-always

I have been interested in the history of palliative care for over 20 years.  I first got going on this work with Neil Small by conducting interviews with hospice founders in the United Kingdom and we then collaborated with Michelle Winslow and Nic Hughes on a general interest book about hospice pioneers. Later I worked… Continue reading

Truth is the first casualty in the war against pain

Published on: Author: Dr Clare Roques 2 Comments
Clare Roques

Pain is a far-reaching phenomenon, present in all of our lives, whether it be the daily pain of hunger, the pain of loss, of bereavement, or following trauma, a heart attack or long-term disease, even terminal cancer. Untreated pain is a great burden – to individuals who suffer emotionally and are predisposed to further complications… Continue reading

Living and dying in pain – it doesn’t have to happen

Published on: Author: guwebteam 1 Comment
Kate Jackson, editor of ehospice International, on Shapinsay, Orkney

75% of the world’s population have no – or inadequate – access to controlled medicines for pain relief. This means that, for many people, a diagnosis of a serious illness such as cancer brings not only a traumatic confrontation with mortality, but also the fear – and reality – of excruciating pain. Pain serves the evolutionary… Continue reading

Autonomy and creativity at the end of life

Published on: Author: Ben Colburn Leave a comment
carved skull in Naples, Italy (courtesy of Ben Colburn)

What does it mean to have a good death? The best way of answering this question takes us via a philosophical theory of the good life. Central to living a good life is the value of autonomy: deciding for yourself what is valuable and living your life in accordance with that decision. Autonomy is an… Continue reading

A public launch for the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care

Published on: Author: Rev Dr Hamilton Inbadas Leave a comment
detail from the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care

The first national atlas of palliative care in the world, the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care, received considerable attention on the day it was launched. On Thursday 22 September 2016 I travelled to the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, to launch the Scottish Atlas at the annual conference of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care. Everyone at… Continue reading