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Reporting from Philadelphia on hospice and palliative care in the USA – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 8 Comments

I have just attended for the first time the annual meeting of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, held jointly with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. The venue was Philadelphia – the city of brotherly love – and over 3,000 people attended, mainly from the USA, but with small numbers from some… 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

Some ideas for a ‘Care Campus’ – by David Clark

Published on: Author: David Clark 13 Comments

The more we contemplate the end of life care needs of different countries around the world, the more I become convinced of the need for fresh bold thinking. So it was a pleasure to see the work of the Commission on Residential  Care, supported by the admirable Demos group, which reported last autumn on its… Continue reading

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

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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

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

Studying local developments in cancer and palliative care services – by Sara Denver

Published on: Author: David Clark 2 Comments

I recently successfully defended my PhD thesis at the University of Glasgow. This post is about my study in the palliative care field, and reflects upon my experience as a researcher in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies/Institute of Health and Wellbeing. I undertook my PhD as a part-time student whilst practising as a solicitor in… Continue reading

Definitions and Discoveries – by Derek Doyle

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I am old enough to be called “one of the pioneers of palliative care” but serious amnesia has not yet set in (so far as I remember)! I can recall much from those pioneering days, including the hours spent trying to devise comprehensive definitions so that, as we told each other “people will come to… Continue reading

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

Published on: Author: David Clark 2 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