Intended for healthcare professionals


Recent advances in palliative care

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 27 January 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:234

United Kingdom continues to lead in palliative care

  1. Peter W Szlosarek, clinical research fellow (
  1. 44 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX
  2. Department of Haematology and Oncology, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, London WC1N 3JH

    EDITOR—It was disappointing to read Billings's review on palliative care.1 Many of the so called recent advances mentioned in the first part of the article have been practised for many years in the management of British patients with a terminal condition. Much of the second half of the article does palliative care a deep injustice.

    The object of good palliative care is always the alleviation of suffering; hastening death is never the intention. It is wrong to suggest that most dying patients are unable to make decisions and that dehydration with the intention of committing euthanasia is an acceptable management option.

    The situation in Oregon, with the …

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