Palliative care can ease the way to a good death

Categories: In The Media.

It is important that there should be absolute clarity on the issues involved, especially the meaning and role of palliative care.

Extraordinary advances in the science and technology of medicine have enabled doctors to cure patients way beyond previous expectations and to artificially prolong life — which, in many situations, not only prolongs suffering but often causes it.

Unfortunately, caught up in the excitement of this, the thrust of teaching has become curative. Science and technology have become the basis of medical practice; the patient-centred approach has been lost.

There is no code of ethics or legal precedent to prevent a doctor or nurse acting in a humanitarian and compassionate manner but doctors often are confused and, therefore, too much suffering is associated with dying.

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