Palliative medicine: a new specialty changes an old debate
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The specialty of palliative care, of which palliative medicine is part, has developed from hospice care for the dying and aims to meet the various needs of those suffering from advanced incurable progressive disease. Specialist palliative care is not expensive and can be made available to all those who need it, at home, in hospital or in a hospice. Arguments in favour of permitting euthanasia for those dying as a result of a chronic disease are usually based on compassion respect for autonomy or perceived hypocrisy in existing medical practice. Each of these arguments is examined and found wanting.
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