Letters Care of the dying patient

Care of the dying patient: art or science?

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5023 (Published 14 August 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5023
  1. Katherine E Sleeman, clinical lecturer in palliative medicine1
  1. 1Department of Palliative Care, Policy and Rehabilitation, King’s College School of Medicine, Cicely Saunders Institute, London SE5 9PJ, UK
  1. katherine.sleeman{at}kcl.ac.uk

There is an art to end of life care. But however well it is applied in the sensitive navigation of discussions with dying patients and their loved ones, it does not preclude the need for a scientific evidence base to guide care. The development of a robust evidence base requires investment in research, and, as Ellershaw and Lakhani point out,1 end of life care has long been of low priority for research …

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