Letters

Embracing Cicely Saunders's concept of total pain

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7516.576-d (Published 08 September 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:576
  1. Chi-Keong Ong, head of research and service evaluation ([email protected]),
  2. Duncan Forbes, chief executive
  1. Shakespeare Hospice, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9UL
  2. Shakespeare Hospice, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9UL

    EDITOR—Dame Cicely Saunders defined the concept of total pain as the suffering that encompasses all of a person's physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and practical struggles.1 Coyle also wrote that a diagnosis of a life threatening illness jars open a door of awareness,2 the same door that, for most of our lives, comfortably allows us to keep thoughts about death in the background. …

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