Technology, futility and palliative care

Kelly, Daniel (2005) Technology, futility and palliative care. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 11 (9). p. 456. ISSN 1357-6321

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I witnessed recently the death of a relative on an acute surgical unit. Diagnosed with bladder cancer 2 years previously, her condition had deteriorated slowly during a trip overseas until she returned home and was admitted immediately to hospital for intravenous rehydration, antibiotics and cardiac monitoring. After 2 days her physical condition was considered to have ‘improved’; however, she was also experiencing pelvic pain that responded to a diamorphine infusion. Attempts were made to arrange transfer to a hospice, but this was not possible and she died soon after with her family at hand. Reflecting on these events prompted questions about the relationship between medical technology and the goals of palliative care to ‘avoid overly interventionist treatments and of offering a range of “low-tech” options to people dying with advanced disease’ (Seymour, 2000).

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:A. > School of Health and Education
ID Code:3381
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Deposited On:07 Dec 2009 06:18
Last Modified:30 Sep 2015 15:57

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