Medicine And Books

New Themes in Palliative Care; Making Palliative Care Better

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 24 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:319
  1. Irene Peat, consultant in clinical oncology
  1. Leicester Royal Infirmary NHS Trust

    New Themes in Palliative Care

    Ed David Clark, Jo Hockley, Sam Ahmedzai Open University Press, £15.99, pp 306 ISBN 0 335 19605 5

    Making Palliative Care Better

    M Glickman National Council for Hospice and Specialist Palliative Care Services ISBN 1 898915 13 X

    When I qualified, in the mid-1970s, teaching of symptom control and care of dying patients usually consisted of a lecture in the pharmacology course discussing opiate receptors and antagonists. On the wards we saw the terminally ill dosed with liquid morphine in cocktails containing cocaine and alcohol, with the ensuing restlessness controlled with barbiturates. Patients were rendered unconscious, making their death more tolerable for the attendants. The alternative was a “high technology” death, with futile investigations and treatments offered until the end, and opiates administered in …

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