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Interest and disinterest in the mid-twentieth century 

Interest and disinterest in the mid-twentieth century
Chapter:
Interest and disinterest in the mid-twentieth century
Author(s):

David Clark

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199674282.003.0003
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date: 27 October 2020

Offering free medical care to the entire population, the National Health Service (NHS) was a comprehensive system of universal entitlement based on collective provision of healthcare within a market economy. In its early years, it revealed that little attention was being paid to the needs of terminally ill and dying people. Nevertheless, some important information did begin to emerge on these matters, championed by charitable institutions outside the NHS. This chapter examines early reports on the plight of the terminally ill, the content of medical commentary on the subject, and the emerging flickers of research interest that became visible. It shows how over time, the discourse shifted from anecdote to a semblance of evidence—and created a bridgehead for future development in an emerging field of hospice and palliative care.

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