You are currently browsing the archives for the Cicely Saunders category.

Hear Cicely Saunders in her final recorded interview with Professor David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 1 Comment
Dame Cicely Saunders, photographed during her final interview with David Clark, March 2005

Dame Cicely Saunders died at St Christopher’s Hospice on 14 July 2005, at the age of 87.  This is an interview I recorded with her just a few months earlier. I first met Dame Cicely in 1995 and over the next decade we worked together on various projects. She was a keen supporter of my work… Continue reading

Dr Saunders and Dr Rustomjee – an early example of #hpmglobal

Published on: Author: David Clark 3 Comments

  Just before Easter 1961, Cicely Saunders sat down to send greetings to a colleague. It was someone who shared her interests in developing special facilities and approaches for the care of the dying – especially those with advanced cancer. Nothing unusual in that. She was now getting into her stride with a growing ambition… Continue reading

Celebrating the life of Cicely Saunders on International Women’s Day – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 10 Comments

Cicely Saunders was born in North London on 22 June 1918, the first of three children and the only daughter to Gordon and Chrissie Saunders. Her father was a successful estate agent and as his prosperity grew, the family enjoyed a range of middle class material comforts, living at Hadley Green among gardens, tennis courts… Continue reading

A Christmas letter from Cicely Saunders, 50 years ago today (22 December 1964)

Published on: Author: David Clark 6 Comments

One of the more pleasurable academic tasks I have ever undertaken was to edit the letters of Cicely Saunders, in a collection published by Oxford University Press, in 2002.  The volume of her selected letters (1959-99) contains some 700 pieces, chosen from over 7,000 to be found among her papers. I continue to enjoy dipping… Continue reading

‘Total pain’: the work of Cicely Saunders and the maturing of a concept

Published on: Author: David Clark 3 Comments

A striking feature of Cicely Saunders’ early work was its articulation of the relationship between physical and mental suffering. This reached full expression with the concept of ‘total pain’, which was taken to include physical symptoms, mental distress, social problems and emotional difficulties.  The idea was launched on the world exactly 50 years ago, in… Continue reading

Two reports that shaped the history of end of life care in the United Kingdom – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 3 Comments

The UK welfare state upon its creation in 1948  sought to vouchsafe care ‘from the cradle to the grave’, yet the early years of the National Health Service saw little attention to care at the end of life and focused instead on addressing the widespread acute and chronic health problems of a society grappling with… Continue reading

The Brompton Cocktail: 19th century origins to 20th century demise – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 6 Comments

Modern day pain specialists continue to be fascinated by the actions and interactions of particular drugs in specific combinations.   As the art and science of such work progresses it is worth reminding ourselves of practices and assumptions that prevailed in the not too distant past – and how quickly these could change. In this respect,… Continue reading

Cicely Saunders, the 1960s and the USA – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 1 Comment

Modern activists in palliative and end of life care work increasingly in a global context, where international links and collaborations have been become a regular feature of day to day activity. But it was not always the case. The early pioneers lived in an era before the internet and instant electronic communication. It is interesting… Continue reading