What is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ death from the point of view of health professionals who work in hospices? As part of the CASS affiliated project ‘Metaphor in End of Life Care’ at Lancaster University (funded by the Economic & Social Research Council), we tried to find out. We conducted interviews with 15 hospice managers based in the UK. Amongst other things, each interviewee was asked: ‘How would you describe a good and a bad death?’
Almost all interviewees stressed that different people will have different ideas about what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the experience of death. As a consequence, their own job involves finding out and fulfilling the wishes of patients and their families. The difference between good and bad deaths is partly expressed via contrasting metaphors.
To find out what they said, read the full post on the European Association for Palliative Care website. For more information on the project, visit the MELC website, http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/melc/.
This ESRC-funded project is a corpus-based study of the metaphors used to talk about end-of-life care by patients nearing the end of life, unpaid family carers and health professionals. We study interviews and online forum data in order to investigate how metaphors may help or hinder successful communication between members of these different groups. We aim to use our findings to improve the quality of communication at the end of life. For more information, visit the project’s main page at http://ucrel.lancs.ac.uk/melc/.
Former Research Associate and External Collaborator:
Read the latest updates on this project:
- Some things I have learnt while using corpus methods to study health communication (26 February 2016)
On a dark winter afternoon in December 2011 (before CASS existed), an email from the Economic and Social Research Council informed me that they would fund the project ‘Metaphor in End of Life Care’, which I had put forward with several colleagues from Lancaster. The project involved a combination of manual analysis and corpus methods ...
- New CASS Briefing now available — A ‘battle’ or a ‘journey’? Metaphors and cancer (17 March 2015)
A ‘battle’ or a ‘journey’? Metaphors and cancer. Metaphors matter because they ‘frame’ topics in different ways, which can affect our perception of ourselves and our experiences. The ‘battle’ metaphor for cancer has become controversial because of the framing it may impose on the patient’s experience; the ‘journey’ metaphor frames the cancer experience very differently. We were particularly concerned with whether and how different metaphors ...
- Workshop on ‘Metaphor in end of life care’ at St Joseph’s Hospice, London (6 October 2014)
On 26th September 2014, three members of the CASS-affiliated ‘Metaphor in end of life care’ project team were invited to run a workshop at St Joseph’s Hospice in London. The workshop was attended by 27 participants, including clinical staff, non-clinical staff and volunteers.
Veronika Koller (Lancaster University) introduced the project, including its background, rationale, research questions, ...
- Reflections from the Front Line: Sarah Russell on MELC and Twitter (30 May 2014)
Sarah Russell (Director of Education and Research, Peace Hospice Care and the Hospice of St Francis) attended this month’s Language in End-of Life-Care event, where an audience of approximately 40 healthcare professionals and researchers specialising in palliative and end-of-life care gathered to share their perspectives.
In a new blog post on eHospice, she reflects on this experience, as well ...
- ‘Language in End-of-Life Care’: A user engagement event (12 May 2014)
On 8th May 2014, the main findings of the CASS-affiliated project ‘Metaphor in End-of-Life Care’ were presented to potential users of the research at the Work Foundation in central London. The event, entitled ‘Language in End-of-Life Care’ attracted an audience of approximately forty participants, consisting primarily of healthcare professionals and researchers specialising in palliative and ...
- Elena Semino appears on BBC World Service ‘Healthcheck’ (8 May 2014)
CASS project affiliate (and head of department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University) Elena Semino was interviewed about the findings of the ESRC-funded project ‘Metaphor in End-of-Life Care’ on the BBC World Service’s programme ‘Healthcheck’, presented by Claudia Hammond. The programme will air four times between 7th and 11th May 2014; the first 15 minutes of the ...
- “Fighting Words Are Rarer Among British Doctors”: ‘Metaphor in End of Life Care’ project findings featured in the New York Times (23 April 2014)
Key findings from the CASS-affiliated ‘Metaphor in End of Life Care‘ (MELC) project have been featured in the New York Times. Journalist Paula Span interviews Principal Investigator Elena Semino and compares findings from the UK-based project to her own experiences in the US. Whereas ‘British public health leaders and medical practitioners are more apt to ...
- ‘Fight’ metaphors for cancer revisited: Are they always bad? (5 March 2014)
By the ‘Metaphor in End-of-Life Care’ project team, funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Funding Council (ESRC):
Elena Semino, Veronika Koller, Jane Demmen, Andrew Hardie, Paul Rayson, Sheila Payne (Lancaster University) and Zsófia Demjén (Open University)
Recent media controversy over the use of social media by people with terminal illness has sparked a new debate on ...
- More about the Metaphor in End of Life Care project at Lancaster University (24 February 2014)
The CASS-affiliated Metaphor in End of Life Care project has just released a free resource containing information of interest to many of our readers. Download the document now to learn more about the project, from basic concepts (what is metaphor, and how are they used in everyday life?) to more specific details (why study metaphor in ...
- ‘The McGill Pain Questionnaire: A Linguist’s View’ and ‘Language and Art of Trigeminal Neuralgia’ (1 July 2013)
On 29th June, I was invited to speak at the 2013 Conference of the UK Trigeminal Neuralgia Association, as part of an ongoing collaboration with Professor Joanna Zakrzewska, Facial Pain lead consultant at Eastman Dental Hospital in London. I gave two talks: ‘The McGill Pain Questionnaire: A Linguist’s View’ and ‘Language and Art of Trigeminal ...