The facts of death

Launer, John (2008) The facts of death. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 84 (May). pp. 279-280. ISSN 1469-0756

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I have lost two friends to pancreatic cancer in the past few months. Two other friends are in the middle of cancer treatment and unsure what the outcome will be for them. From all these friends, and from many others who have had cancer in the past, I have heard the same stories. Their medical care has been excellent in technical terms, but on a personal level it is stony cold. However often we remark on the fact, it still remains true that doctors are mostly not good about death and dying. Although death is the sole certainty for every patient that we see, and very few people will die without a doctor in attendance during their final days, we still treat the whole business as if it is an aberration, a failure, or something that doesn’t really belong to medicine at all.

Item Type: Article
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services

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