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Final Thoughts 

Final Thoughts
Chapter:
Final Thoughts
Author(s):

Robert C. Macauley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199313945.003.0019
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date: 19 September 2020

It is not enough to know how to respond to ethical dilemmas in palliative care. Sufficient resources are required to implement the nuanced approach to ethical dilemmas presented in this textbook. In the developed world, there exists a profound shortage of palliative care clinicians, as well as regulatory barriers which may impede the provision of optimal palliative care. The situation is far more serious in the developing world, where access to symptomatic medications may be severely restricted due to lack of economic resources or bureaucratic barriers. Even when a qualified team is available and necessary tools are at hand, the emotional challenges inherent in caring for seriously ill patients may negatively impact team dynamics. This is particularly true in situations where members of the team believe they know what the “right” thing to do is, but external forces prevent them from doing it, thus causing moral distress.

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