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Palliative Care for Non-cancer Patients$
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Julia Addington-Hall and Irene Higginson

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780192629609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192629609.001.0001

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Specialist palliative care for non-cancer patients: the ethical arguments

Specialist palliative care for non-cancer patients: the ethical arguments

Chapter:
(p.239) Chapter 20 Specialist palliative care for non-cancer patients: the ethical arguments
Source:
Palliative Care for Non-cancer Patients
Author(s):

Katherine Wasson

Rob George

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192629609.003.0021

This chapter explores the question of whether there are good reasons for specialist palliative care being restricted to cancer patients. It does this by analysing the aims, duties, and responsibilities of palliative care; issues of justice in relation to non-cancer patients; and the moral implications of drawing a distinction between cancer and other disease groupings. The answer is rather important: if we fail to find clinical, practical, and defensible moral distinctions between cancer and other fatal diseases, we are left with a much more disturbing question: what it may mean for society if cancer is set apart from other diseases.

Keywords:   patient care, cancer patients, end of life care, specialist palliative care

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