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When palliative medicine became a specialty – by Derek Doyle

Published on: Author: David Clark 7 Comments

The University of Glasgow awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science to Derek Doyle, one of the pioneers of modern palliative care, in July 2014.  Since then Dr Doyle has been a popular and regular contributor to our blog. Here he blogs about the origins of palliative medicine as a specialty. Some readers may… Continue reading

Founding the Association for Palliative Medicine of Great Britain and Ireland – by Derek Doyle

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment
Derek Doyle 9 July 2014

The 1970s and 1980s saw palliative care services starting all over Britain – hospices and NHS ‘continuing care units’, day units, home care services, hospital consultation services, ‘hospice at home’. Those were undeniably exciting times but they brought many problems and challenges. Where were the trained staff? There were no plans or policies in place… 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

Prepared to be different? By Derek Doyle

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Dr Derek Doyle

In previous posts I have told how exciting it was when the ‘pioneers’ of hospice/palliative care realised that, much as they thought they were introducing something new to patient care, they were in fact pleading for recognition and acceptance of the most basic, undeniable, ages-old features of compassionate care. Cynics described that as  ‘reinventing the… Continue reading

Death, Dying, and Bereavement: new book edited by Judith Stillion and Thomas Attig

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

Thanks to David Clark for allowing us to introduce readers of his blog to our recent publication entitled Death, Dying, and Bereavement: Contemporary Perspectives, Institutions, and Practices. Written by luminaries who have shaped the field, this capstone book distills the collective wisdom of foremost scholars and practitioners who together have nearly a millennium of experience… Continue reading

Just basic care? by Derek Doyle

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In a previous post on this blog – “Palliative Care Definitions & Discoveries” I told of what seemed like a discovery to some of us generously described as “pioneers.” We had suddenly realised that palliative care was no more, no less than good clinical care whatever the pathology of the illness or the gender, colour,… 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