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New ESRC-Funded Project “Dying in the Margins” Investigates How Socio-Economic Deprivation Effects End of Life Experiences and Ability to Die at Home

Published on: Author: Naomi Richards Leave a comment

We are all aware of the headlines about the impact of government austerity measures on communities up and down the UK. But what impact has austerity had on people’s experiences of dying and, specifically, their ability to die in their own home? What is it like to be facing death in materially constrained circumstances in… Continue reading

Death Writes: A Symposium on Reading and Writing about Death and Dying

Published on: Author: Naomi Richards 1 Comment

Death is not monolithic. It is better to think about deaths and dyings. So said a participant about what she had learnt from our half day symposium on reading and writing death, in May 2019, held at the St Mungo Museum for Religious Life and Art in Glasgow . Not monolithic indeed. Our plan for… 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 1 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

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