The Pandemic Papers: Rachel Clarke on Fear, Courage + Crisis in the NHS

Rachel Clarke is an author and palliative care doctor who firmly believes that there is a good way to approach end of life care. Her 2020 book, Dear Life: A Doctor’s Story of Love and Loss, drew on her experiences of having spent many years working with people confronting death and her first book, Your Life in My Hands, was a best seller.

In this new and intimate interview for Good Grief, hosted by the Festival’s founding director Dr Lucy Selman, Dr Clarke discusses her latest book, Breathtaking, which was written during and created as a result of the pandemic.

Waterstones says, ‘[Clarke’s] new book, Breathtaking, is an unflinching insider’s account of medicine in the time of coronavirus. Drawing on testimony from nursing, acute and intensive care colleagues – as well as, crucially, her patients – Clarke argues that this age of contagion has inspired a profound attentiveness to – and gratitude for – what matters most in life.’

Dr Lucy Selman is Senior Research Fellow in the School of Population Health Sciences, University of Bristol. Her research and publications over the past 15 years have mainly focused on psychosocial and spiritual aspects of the illness experience; decision-making and communication; family care-giving and bereavement; and widening access to services.


Facilitator, Dr Rachel Clarke

Dr Rachel Clarke

Dr Lucy Selman, c Artur Tixiliski

Dr Lucy Selman