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The Philosophy of Palliative Care – Critique and Reconstruction - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Philosophy of Palliative Care: Critique and Reconstruction

Fiona Randall and R S Downie


The idea of a philosophy of palliative care emerged with Cicely Saunders' vision for ‘a good death’, and was developed further with the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of palliative care. It is now being applied not only to cancer patients, but to all patients in end-of-life situations. As this palliative care approach advances, it is important to pause and comment on its effectiveness. It is a philosophy of patient care, and is therefore open to critique and evaluation. Using the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, 3rd edition as their basic reference, the authors present their ... More

Keywords: palliative care, Cicely Saunders, end of life, quality of life, autonomy, dignity, patient-centredness, relatives, healthcare policies, WHO

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2006 Print ISBN-13: 9780198567363
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198567363.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Fiona Randall, author
Consultant in Palliative Medicine, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital Trust, UK

R S Downie, author
Honorary Professorial Research Fellow, Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of Glasgow, UK