Posts by David Clark

End of life care: how to save hospices from collapse? Less medicine and some lessons from India

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David Clark, University of Glasgow For the first time ever, one of Britain’s 200 independent hospices has closed its doors. St Clare’s in Jarrow near Newcastle had been serving its community in the north east of England for 30 years, raising most of its annual costs of £2.2m from local charitable giving. But after a… Continue reading

The Mitori Project – keeping a ‘watching brief’ on end of life issues in Japan and the UK

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In summer 2018 I spotted a call from the Economic and Social Research Council seeking proposals to build collaboration between researchers in Japan and the United Kingdom, with no constraints on the subject matter. It looked an interesting opportunity. I quickly reached out to my Japanese colleague the philosopher Hirobumi Takenouchi and within a few… Continue reading

Controversies in palliative care: a matter of definition

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The compassionate world of palliative care is currently going through what one activist has called ‘a winter of discontent’. In a field where a sense of shared and pioneering purpose has long driven development, a measure of disagreement has broken out. The major advocacy and professional societies in palliative care are lining up on opposite… Continue reading

A Christmas Letter by Cicely Saunders, from twenty years ago

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Cicely Saunders was a great writer of letters. Indefatigable in her correspondence, she was equally happy dashing off the briefest of newsy notes, or setting out several pages of detailed text, full of insight and reflection. My acquaintance with her letters, built up over many years, was invaluable to me as I was writing her… Continue reading

Putting heads together: international research collaborations that help us all

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Palliative and end of life care is still a small field of activity, but it has quickly developed a global network of people who want to work together, often in productive ways.  It was my pleasure in the last few weeks of 2018 to welcome to the University of Glasgow, Dumfries Campus some of the… Continue reading

Thinking critically about the Liverpool Care Pathway

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It is almost 20 years since ideas about an integrated pathway for the care of the dying were formulated by John Ellershaw and his colleagues in Liverpool. When I first heard the originator speak about it at a lunchtime seminar in Sheffield in November 2001, I recall a two-fold reaction. On the one hand it… Continue reading

Can palliative care improve society? Cicely Saunders and the moral order of dying

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In 1961 Cicely Saunders, in a short article written for a general audience, observed:  ‘A society which shuns the dying must have an incomplete philosophy’ [1]. The remark is loaded with import. In her observation, ‘the dying’, seem to constitute a known social category. Not only neglected, they are persistently avoided, ignored, or rejected through… Continue reading