European Journal of Palliative Care - 1999

Comment: Should euthanasia be an option in palliative care?
Andrew Hoy
pp 110-110
Most palliative care professionals are familiar with patients who ask their carers to end their suffering and kill them. This may not happen frequently, and such requests may be prompted more by media attention to the issue than by a sincere and sustained desire to have their life ended. However, there is no doubt that some of our patients, politely yet firmly, make this request in all seriousness. Should voluntary active euthanasia (VAE) be an option in our care?
Radiotherapy fractionation in palliative care
Peter Hoskin
pp 111-115
In external beam radiotherapy, fractionation refers to the practice of delivering multiple radiation doses, typically on a daily basis, in order to achieve a final target dose of radiation. The purpose of this method is to enhance the therapeutic ratio of radiation by exploiting the repair and proliferation capacity of normal tissue after small amounts of radiation damage. Its drawback, particularly in the palliative setting, is that it prolongs overall treatment time and the number of hospital visits a patient has to make to complete a course of treatment
Cutaneous paraneoplastic syndromes – PART 2
Louise Fearfield and Chris Bunker
pp 117-120
Cutaneous metastases, although rare, can be the presenting sign of underlying malignancy. The second part of this series reviews the many different presentations of skin metastases as well as the less wellestablished skin markers of underlying malignancy. The treatment and management of skin problems in sick patients are also discussed.
Euthanasia – good medical practice or murder?
Anthony Smith
pp 122-125
On 11 May this year, Dr David Moor, a GP from Newcastle, was found not guilty of murder. So ends the latest British court case related to medical treatment and decisions at the end of life. This was not a trial about euthanasia but about whether the doctor had committed murder. Nevertheless, it has significant implications for the practice of palliative care.
The contribution of speech and language therapy to palliative care
Neil Salt, Sian Davies and Sue Wilkinson
pp 126-129
If palliative care is to succeed in maintaining quality of life for as long as possible and in enabling patients to take an active part in decisions affecting their care, effective communication is crucial. It is with good cause that much has been written in medical, nursing and specifically palliative care literature on the importance of good communication skills. The emphasis, however, tends to be on the role of the healthcare professional.
The 20 essential drugs in palliative care
Duke Dickerson
pp 130-135
As the population of the developed nations of the world aged 65 years and older continues to increase, so will the number of people who suffer from the symptoms associated with an incurable disease. The purpose of this survey was to attempt to establish what might be considered the essential drugs in the treatment of these symptoms. The information provided may serve as a model, or assist in the establishment of a pharmacotherapeutic formulary for palliative care.