You are currently browsing the archives for the concepts category.

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

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

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

Published on: Author: David Clark 16 Comments

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

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 Leave a 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

Suffering and Autonomy at the End of Life – University of Glasgow Conference April 2018

Published on: Author: josephwood2 Leave a comment

Cicely Saunders once stated that ‘suffering is only intolerable when nobody cares’. Yet suffering is a broad concept with many aspects. Members from the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group recently attended a two-day philosophy conference entitled ‘Suffering and Autonomy at the End of Life’. Speakers came from a range of academic disciplines – including… Continue reading

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

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

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

A moment for compassion

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

In recent times I have been struck by the widespread use of the term ‘compassion’. It is being colonized by many groups, organisations  and discourses – sometimes with rather opposing purposes. Widely used by the supporters of palliative care, it has also been adopted by those that promote assisted dying. It is found in the… Continue reading