Vex not his ghost: King Lear and end-of-life care

King Lear is not limited to a single ethical dilemma but is a play about the suffering of mankind. This paper investigates how elements of Shakespeare’s play might enrich our understanding of the challenges and opportunities of modern end-of-life care. The paper addresses the following key questions:

• How can King Lear inform our understanding of suffering and pain in a clinical context?

• What can King Lear teach the professional in terms of communication with a terminally ill patient and their family?