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Cicely SaundersSelected Writings 1958-2004$
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Cicely Saunders

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570530

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570530.001.0001

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Heroin and Morphine In Advanced Cancer

Heroin and Morphine In Advanced Cancer

First published as a letter in The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 310, no. 9 (1984), p. 599.

(p.183) 26 Heroin and Morphine In Advanced Cancer
Cicely Saunders

Cicely Saunders

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a short letter, co-authored with Thomas Walsh, and which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1984. The background to the letter was a growing lobby within the United States in support of the legalisation of the use of diamorphine for pain relief within medical practice. Although the drug is licensed for use in the UK and is prescribed for use at St Christopher's, the authors take the view that there is no case for legalisation in America or elsewhere, and that such debates indeed detract from the more important issue of overall improvement in the care of patients nearing the end of life — with whatever armamentarium is available in a given setting.

Keywords:   diamorphine, legalisation, terminal patients, Thomas Walsh, America

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