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Ethical issues and the person in the patient 

Ethical issues and the person in the patient
Chapter:
Ethical issues and the person in the patient
Author(s):

Max Watson

, Rachel Campbell

, Nandini Vallath

, Stephen Ward

, and Jo Wells

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198745655.003.0001
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date: 22 August 2019

This chapter describes the key ethical issues most commonly encountered in the palliative care setting. The management of the more explicit ethical issues faced by ‘actively dying’ patients is integral to the work of palliative care professionals. Though the underpinning good practice is common across all healthcare, it may only be when facing the reality of impending death that patients, their families, and their clinicians begin to fully consider the most difficult questions around the meaning and quality of their life, provoking a reassessment of the goals from treatment. Differences of opinion and conflicts of interest can emerge, creating increasingly difficult scenarios. Though not easily answered, many ethical issues can be adequately addressed with sensitive, well-informed, honest communication, without even becoming a dilemma.

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