Truth is the first casualty in the war against pain

Published on: Author: Dr Clare Roques 2 Comments
Clare Roques

Pain is a far-reaching phenomenon, present in all of our lives, whether it be the daily pain of hunger, the pain of loss, of bereavement, or following trauma, a heart attack or long-term disease, even terminal cancer. Untreated pain is a great burden – to individuals who suffer emotionally and are predisposed to further complications… Continue reading

Living and dying in pain – it doesn’t have to happen

Published on: Author: guwebteam 1 Comment
Kate Jackson, editor of ehospice International, on Shapinsay, Orkney

75% of the world’s population have no – or inadequate – access to controlled medicines for pain relief. This means that, for many people, a diagnosis of a serious illness such as cancer brings not only a traumatic confrontation with mortality, but also the fear – and reality – of excruciating pain. Pain serves the evolutionary… Continue reading

Autonomy and creativity at the end of life

Published on: Author: Ben Colburn Leave a comment
carved skull in Naples, Italy (courtesy of Ben Colburn)

What does it mean to have a good death? The best way of answering this question takes us via a philosophical theory of the good life. Central to living a good life is the value of autonomy: deciding for yourself what is valuable and living your life in accordance with that decision. Autonomy is an… Continue reading

A public launch for the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care

Published on: Author: Rev Dr Hamilton Inbadas Leave a comment
detail from the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care

The first national atlas of palliative care in the world, the Scottish Atlas of Palliative Care, received considerable attention on the day it was launched. On Thursday 22 September 2016 I travelled to the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, to launch the Scottish Atlas at the annual conference of the Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care. Everyone at… Continue reading

Palliative care declarations: mapping a new form of intervention

Published on: Author: Rev Dr Hamilton Inbadas 1 Comment
Reverend Dr Hamilton Inbadas, University of Glasgow

When we started our study of palliative care declarations little did I know that this apparently small-scale desk-based study would unfold into an exciting expedition, offering opportunities far beyond its original scope. Well over a year ago, in May 2015, I wrote a blog outlining our plan for studying palliative care declarations listing the declarations… Continue reading

Maureen Lipman on Dame Cicely Saunders for Great Lives on BBC Radio 4

Published on: Author: David Clark 3 Comments

Great Lives is a much-loved biographical programme on Radio 4, the BBC’s current affairs and factual radio network. I have often listened to Great Lives at home or in the car and always enjoy the choice of subject, the perspectives of the contributors and the ideas that flow between them. At the time of writing this… Continue reading

Understanding hospital palliative care as an affective economy

If, like me, you are a citizen of the global North, the statistical probability is that you–after a protracted illness–will spend your last days and die in an acute-care hospital. Increasingly, a good death in these institutions calls for a specific form of medical expertise–palliative care. As a medical anthropologist, one of my main research… Continue reading