Ethics. Research. Community.

[The specialist field of palliative medicine]

Tidsskrift for den Norske lægeforening : tidsskrift for praktisk medicin, ny række. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
Palliative medicine means caring for patients with incurable disease and short life expectancy, or, with the British definition, "the study and management of patients with active, progressive, far advanced disease, for whom the prognosis is limited and the focus of care is the quality of life". Palliative medicine is more than care for the dying. Today palliative medicine is regarded as integral to the treatment pathway for all patients with incurable disease. Up to now, mostly cancer patients have been offered specialist palliative care, but the international trend is to include other patient groups, especially patients with degenerative neurological disease and advanced cardiac and pulmonary disease. Palliative medicine is characterized by a focus not primarily on disease control but rather on symptom relief, social support, spiritual care, and maintenance of physical and psychological functioning and wellbeing. To reach these goals, a multi-professional approach is needed, and the doctor in charge must be highly qualified clinically and academically and willing and able to cooperate with colleagues and other healthcare professionals.
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