Reviews Book

The Philosophy of Palliative Care: Critique and Reconstruction

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 30 March 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:800
  1. Paul Keeley, consultant in palliative medicine (
  1. Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow

    It was Baroness Julia Neuberger who described the NHS as a theological institution in the pages of this journal (BMJ 1999;319: 1588-9). Randall and Downie's new book, in which they argue that end of life care has become overprofessionalised, is not so much a philosophy of palliative care as a theological tract. In treating the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine as a sacred text, the World Health Organization as a synod, and Dame Cicely Saunders (obituary BMJ2005;331: …

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