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Thursday, December 7, 2006

Get Palliative Care (.org)

CAPC has announced their new website promoting palliative care "" It is mostly informational material aimed at the public (patients and families) about palliative care, where you can get it, etc. It looks like it will be a valuable resource to refer people to. I may try to see if I can get it printed on my business cards with the next lot.

Somewhat controversially (ok, to be honest, I'm the one saying it's controversial), the website distinctly de-emphasizes death & dying. In fact 'death,' 'dying,' 'end of life,' etc. are absent from the main page--replaced (not inaccurately of course) with 'serious illness.' On the page ' What is palliative care?' death and dying aren't really mentioned except to distinguish palliative care from hospice, although I'd wager terminal care is a large component of what most of us in palliative care do. On the other hand the "For clinicians" page lists patient criteria that clinicians should use to trigger palliative care involvement: these criteria (mostly) describe patients likely to die soon. I find this distinction between the two pages interesting but understandable, at least from a promotional standpoint (making 'palliative care' more palatable to patients-- it's about how you live, after all), although the naive fool in me just wishes it didn't have to be this way.

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