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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

A Christmas Letter by Cicely Saunders, from twenty years ago

Published on: Author: David Clark Leave a comment

Cicely Saunders was a great writer of letters. Indefatigable in her correspondence, she was equally happy dashing off the briefest of newsy notes, or setting out several pages of detailed text, full of insight and reflection. My acquaintance with her letters, built up over many years, was invaluable to me as I was writing her… Continue reading

Montreal 2018 – Compassion and Caring as a Way Through

Published on: Author: Maria McGill Leave a comment

Montreal is an amazing, diverse city, rich in heritage and culture. It is also a city of contradictions – a paradox. It is city built on a river and one of the most important ports in Canada and yet it’s almost 1,000 miles from the sea! On first viewing Montreal is also clearly a North… 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

The challenge of caring for frail older people as they enter the last year of their lives

Published on: Author: chrisisles Leave a comment

One of the greatest challenges facing the NHS, in this its 70th anniversary year, is the care of  ageing and increasingly frail older people.  End of life care is not something that we as doctors seem to want to talk about, which means that when patients are admitted as an emergency to hospital the default… Continue reading

Translating Kerala’s Community-Based Palliative Care To West Bengal, India

Kerala’s community model for palliative care has sustained attention in global palliative care discourse, as an alternative, resource-effective form of organizing. What distinguishes the community model from professional-centric models such as hospices and hospitals, is that the community volunteers serve as the anchor in coordinating ‘total-care’ – i.e., medical, social, financial support and rehabilitation –… 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

Thinking critically about the Liverpool Care Pathway

Published on: Author: David Clark 1 Comment

It is almost 20 years since ideas about an integrated pathway for the care of the dying were formulated by John Ellershaw and his colleagues in Liverpool. When I first heard the originator speak about it at a lunchtime seminar in Sheffield in November 2001, I recall a two-fold reaction. On the one hand it… Continue reading