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‘Total Pain’, Extinction, and the End of the World

Published on: Author: josephwood2 Leave a comment

‘Total Pain’ as the Pain of a Lifetime This post looks at Cicely Saunders’ influential term ‘total pain’ in terms of endings and limits. ‘Total pain’ articulates how pain for someone whose life is ending is a whole overwhelming experience which combines physical, psychological, social and spiritual elements. My own PhD project looks at how… Continue reading

The unfolding legacy of Cicely Saunders: 15 years on

Published on: Author: David Clark 2 Comments

Cicely Saunders died on 14th July 2005. I was running an international end of life care summer school at Lancaster University at the time. That evening, staff and students gathered in the home of a colleague: the summer school party had turned into a wake. I read out a draft of an obituary I had… Continue reading

In these strange times…

Published on: Author: josephwood2 2 Comments

Coronavirus is changing the way we live in a way that is repeatedly said to be unprecedented. We say we are living through strange times, extraordinary times, difficult times. For some of us lucky enough to be able to work from home time might be stretching out in lockdown into an endless series of Thursday… Continue reading

A new approach to suffering in life-limiting illness: Total pain, the brain-gut axis, and the human microbiome

Published on: Author: Marian Krawczyk Leave a comment

People with life-limiting illnesses report exceptionally high rates of psychosocial and existential suffering in conjunction with bodily pain. Cicely Saunders famously conceptualized this cumulative distress as ‘total pain’. As you may already know, we’re pretty interested in total pain around here. Professor David Clark has written extensively about it (see here for an overview), and… Continue reading

‘Watch with Me’ and the continuing significance of Cicely Saunders

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

This week I was delighted to receive a letter seeking permission for the little book Watch with Me to be translated into Slovenian. Publication of the new edition next year will mean Watch with Me has been translated into six languages. More could be on the way. The continuing interest in the book is its… Continue reading

A Christmas Letter by Cicely Saunders, from twenty years ago

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

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

Watch With Me – Velai Comigo

Published on: Author: franklinssantos 1 Comment

My name is Franklin S. Santos, I am a geriatric doctor, and 11 years ago I started working in teaching, research and assistance in the areas of Thanatology and Palliative Care in Brazil. Since then, I have had the opportunity to organise courses and interdisciplinary books that address these issues. These books became a reference… Continue reading