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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

Endings and beginnings

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

When in February 2014, I heard the news that my application for a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award had been successful, I could scarcely have imagined what would follow over the next six years. The Trust is perhaps unique among funders in the incredible extent to which it gives grantees the scope and encouragement to think… 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

The case of palliative care and public health

Published on: Author: Sandy Whitelaw Leave a comment
Dr Sandy Whitelaw in front of a stone building

The eventual publication of our paper ‘Palliative care and public health: an asymmetrical relationship?’ in Palliative Care: Research and Treatment offers a chance to reflect on what ended up being a drawn out and rather tortuous academic process. Over two years ago, David Clark and I started to talk and write about the engagement between ‘palliative care’… 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

The launch of the new Cicely Saunders biography

Published on: Author: milagerson Leave a comment

I recall learning of Cicely Saunders’ death in July 2005. It was morning in the Pacific Northwest and I was planning my day of home visits with hospice patients and families. I had greatly admired the woman who created and embodied an approach to care for dying that acknowledged the whole person as they were… Continue reading