Tag Archives: total pain

Total Pain: Whose experience is it anyway?

Published on: Author: clairemorris1 Leave a comment

The authors of this blog have both been involved in palliative care for over a decade, albeit for different reasons.  Claire Morris is a global palliative care advocate within a palliative care international non-governmental organisation and Lucy Watts has been accessing palliative care services since she was 17 years old as a result of a rare,… Continue reading

‘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

Dr Marian Krawczyk introduces: A new approach to suffering in life-limiting illness

Published on: Author: Marian Krawczyk Leave a comment

A new approach to suffering in life-limiting illness: Total pain, the brain-gut axis, and the human microbiome. Dr Marian Krawczyk talks about her new Carnegie Research Incentive Grant: This grant enables her to conduct a targeted review of literature across social, medical, and biological research to develop an innovative transdisciplinary theory that considers the connection… Continue reading

A new approach to suffering in life-limiting illness: Total pain, the brain-gut axis, and the human microbiome

Published on: Author: Marian Krawczyk Leave a comment

People with life-limiting illnesses report exceptionally high rates of psychosocial and existential suffering in conjunction with bodily pain. Cicely Saunders famously conceptualized this cumulative distress as ‘total pain’. As you may already know, we’re pretty interested in total pain around here. Professor David Clark has written extensively about it (see here for an overview), and… Continue reading

New Beginnings: on a PhD journey via Megabus

Published on: Author: clairemorris1 Leave a comment

By Claire Morris As I start my part time distance PhD with Glasgow End of Life Studies Group, at the forefront of my mind are the practical and social implications of this life change and the possibilities for the five years ahead. Transitioning to remote part-time study has not been too challenging and I am… 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

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

Published on: Author: David Clark 16 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