Tag Archives: total pain

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 3 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