European Journal of Palliative Care - 2003

Comment: The next ten years
Andrew Hoy
pp 4-4
As the European Journal of Palliative Care (EJPC) embarks on its tenth year of publication, I would like to reflect on the past nine years and look forward to the next ten volumes.
An overview of the care issues for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Belinda Weller, Richard Knight and Robert Will
pp 5-8
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare neurodegenerative disease, is one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (or prion diseases). It has received significant publicity following the emergence of a new form of CJD – variant CJD (vCJD) related to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in cattle. Variant CJD predominantly affects young people.
Nursing patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
Kay de Vries
pp 9-12
Following the identification of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in 1996, a number of countries conducted retrospective surveys of deaths from CJD and, as a result, vCJD appears to be largely confined to the UK at present. However, predictions for future numbers are a matter of debate among scientists and within the media literature, and the implications of the emergence of this new variant continue to be debated in relation to transmission agents and potential numbers who may contract the disease. There is no cure for CJD and palliation is the only treatment.
Case study masterclass 7: Complications of a rare tumour
Carol Davis, Maureen Syed and Val Lewington
pp 14-15
Sue is a 30-year-old secretary who had presented three years ago with a lump in her right neck that was thought to be a lymph node. She underwent biopsy under general anaesthetic but lost 14 units of blood during the operation and was transferred to the intensive care unit. She made a slow but complete recovery. Histology revealed a carotid body tumour; there was no evidence of metastases.
Case study masterclass 6 answers: Mesothelioma
Carol Davis, Maureen Syed and Val Lewington
pp 15-15
Ethical questions at the end of life
Bernard Paternostre and Benoît Burucoa
pp 16-19
As life nears its end, many ethical questions are frequently asked of a palliative care professional. Should we stop chemotherapy or haemodialysis? Should we continue with mechanically assisted breathing? Should we start haemodialysis, should we amputate, or give a transfusion, or implant a biliary prosthesis? Should we start artificial feeding with a gastric tube or parenterally? Should we prescribe sedation? How do we deal with a request for euthanasia? How do we deal with a person who refuses care? What kind of treatment decision needs to be taken in an emergency at home? And so on ...
To take or not to take
Belinda Morris
pp 20-22
Poor compliance or adherence in taking medication has been regarded as a major problem in healthcare for many years. Figures vary, but reports suggest that up to 50% of patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. The consequences of not taking medication, or not taking it correctly, include treatment failure, disease resistance, multiple prescriptions, unnecessary pathological tests and medicines waste.
Putting the plans for French palliative care into action
Marilène Filbet
pp 24-25
The development of palliative care in France began in the 1980s with doctors and professional carers expressing their views on care for the terminally ill. This led to the publication in 1986 of a circular on caring for the dying. It described and defined palliative care, the patients likely to benefit from it and the various organisations that might practise palliative care, with reference to specific palliative care units and the home.
The development of palliative care in Poznan, Poland
Michael Wright and David Clark
pp 26-29
The Republic of Poland (population 38.7 million) is the largest country in Eastern Europe in population and in area. In terms of ethnicity, language and religion, it is more homogeneous than most countries in the region: Poles comprise 97% of the population; 95% are Roman Catholic.
Mind–body therapies and the psycho-oncology debate
Simon Dein
pp 30-32
How does the development of cancer relate to a person’s emotional state? Can emotions affect the course of the disease? Does positive thinking enable the cancer sufferer to live longer? These are questions frequently asked by both patients and staff alike.
Muslim beliefs regarding death and bereavement
Nabeel Sarhill, Fade Mahmoud and Declan Walsh
pp 34-37
There are more than one billion Muslims worldwide. The word ‘Islam’ means peace and submission to the will of God (Allah). Muslims believe in God (Allah) and his last messenger, Mohammed. They also believe in all Semitic prophets from Adam to Jesus. There are two major schools of thought in Islam; Shia and Sunni. Sunni represents about 80% of the Muslim population.