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Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine
Artykuły poglądowe
Published online: 2002-10-30
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The challenge of palliative care

Robert G. Twycross
Advances in Palliative Medicine 2003;2(1):39-48.
Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine
Artykuły poglądowe
Published online: 2002-10-30

Abstract

Palliative care is patient-centred, rather than disease-focused; accepts the inevitability of death while simultaneously is life-affirming; addresses psychological, social, and spiritual concerns as well as physical ones; and is best delivered by a multiprofessional team working in partnership with patients and their families. Palliative care stresses the importance of “appropriate treatment” and the need for doctors not to prescribe a lingering death. Even though there is no chance of cure, there is much scope for psychosocial and spiritual healing, and often some scope for physical rehabilitation. Palliative care is emotionally demanding for professional carers, and strategies for personal support are necessary. The World Health Organization has played a major part in the ongoing campaign to improve cancer pain management and to make medicinal morphine more widely available. A systematic approach to pain and symptom management is essential, and there is need for specific training for all health professionals. In most countries, for palliative care to take root, there is need for a charismatic “champion”. However, for palliative care to flourish, there is need for a governmental commitment to its development. Charisma continues to be necessary to prevent palliative care being strangled by an over-rigid bureaucracy, but incorporation into existing health delivery systems is necessary to prevent it being stillborn through lack of resources.

Abstract

Palliative care is patient-centred, rather than disease-focused; accepts the inevitability of death while simultaneously is life-affirming; addresses psychological, social, and spiritual concerns as well as physical ones; and is best delivered by a multiprofessional team working in partnership with patients and their families. Palliative care stresses the importance of “appropriate treatment” and the need for doctors not to prescribe a lingering death. Even though there is no chance of cure, there is much scope for psychosocial and spiritual healing, and often some scope for physical rehabilitation. Palliative care is emotionally demanding for professional carers, and strategies for personal support are necessary. The World Health Organization has played a major part in the ongoing campaign to improve cancer pain management and to make medicinal morphine more widely available. A systematic approach to pain and symptom management is essential, and there is need for specific training for all health professionals. In most countries, for palliative care to take root, there is need for a charismatic “champion”. However, for palliative care to flourish, there is need for a governmental commitment to its development. Charisma continues to be necessary to prevent palliative care being strangled by an over-rigid bureaucracy, but incorporation into existing health delivery systems is necessary to prevent it being stillborn through lack of resources.
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Keywords

appropriate treatment; pain management; palliative care; symptom management

About this article
Title

The challenge of palliative care

Journal

Advances in Palliative Medicine

Issue

Vol 2, No 1 (2003): Polish Palliative Medicine

Pages

39-48

Published online

2002-10-30

Bibliographic record

Advances in Palliative Medicine 2003;2(1):39-48.

Keywords

appropriate treatment
pain management
palliative care
symptom management

Authors

Robert G. Twycross

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