European Journal of Palliative Care - 2001

Comment: The art of caring
Bernadette Wouters
pp 180-180
In Belgium, as in all countries, the law defines the art of caring, and among the roles of nurses we find, ‘… assisting (the patient) during his/her agony …’. How many other healthcare professions have an explicit reference to the dying in their official job description? Being a nurse means practising the art of caring, not of curing, with the intention of taking care of others – regardless of their condition, age and chances of recovery.
The use of NSAIDs in patients with cancer: just how safe is it?
Paul Shaw
pp 181-185
For any drugs launched in the USA after 1962, proof of efficacy and documentation of relative safety in terms of the risk–benefit ratio for the disease entity to be treated, are legal requirements; however, as stated by Rang et al, ‘The final test of safety of a drug is its release for general use … the only way that rare but serious toxicities can be detected is by clinical observation or postmarketing surveillance’.
Controlling malignant ascites
Colin Campbell
pp 187-190
The term ‘ascites’ describes the abnormal presence of fluid in the peritoneal cavity. When caused by cancer, it is associated with advanced disease, and patients have a median life expectancy of only eight to 20 weeks. Available treatments are palliative in nature, and are not always satisfactory. In all cases, any intervention should be minimally invasive, should not add to the patient’s burden and should be aimed at relieving symptoms.
The DOLOPLUS® 2 scale – evaluating pain in the elderly
Sylvie Lefebvre-Chapiro
pp 191-194
Improving pain relief in sick patients has become a medical priority, but the review articles regularly published on the subject rarely focus on the elderly. More specifically, they seldom concentrate on the communication problems encountered by care teams trying to assess the potential pain of elderly patients, in whom ‘classic’ methods for the self-assessment of pain often cannot be used.
Palliative care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Stuart Brown and Fraser Black
pp 196-198
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and has a rapidly growing population of 15 million people. Compared with many countries, considerable financial resources are made available by the government to provide a national system of healthcare. In particular, citizens with cancer receive tertiary care treatment equal, in most ways, to that available in any developed Western country.
A review of the volunteer movement in EAPC countries
Claude Fusco-Karmann and Gianna Tinini
pp 199-202
The volunteer movement has played an important role in palliative care from the start, and in the early days, the pioneers of this ‘new’ and ‘untrusted’ medicine often relied on voluntary service groups that had been created specifically for this purpose. These volunteers were strongly motivated and were determined to provide support – in both human and financial terms – for the professionals who had chosen to act to relieve the suffering and the state of neglect endured by patients with terminal illness.
An innovative, practical course in the medical humanities
David Jeffrey, Pru Jeffrey, Diane Jones and Ray Owen
pp 203-206
The emphasis on rational deductive reasoning that is vital to so much of healthcare, carries a cost to professionals in terms of reduced flexibility and creativity – with regard to communication and clinical practice – affecting the accurate assessment of the patient’s problems. There is currently a resurgence of interest in integrating the arts within medical practice.
Now and at the hour of our death: the Ars moriendi and modern dying
Paul Keeley
pp 208-211
In the literature of palliative medicine, late medieval attitudes to death – as exemplified by the Ars moriendi – are sometimes contrasted with modern views. There is, however, scant elaboration on the exact nature of this Ars moriendi, the art of dying well.