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Following publication of the first edition in 1993, the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine rapidly established itself as the definitive textbook on the subject. Each edition has received widespread critical acclaim, and the book is used across the world by the wide range of health care professionals involved in the care of patients with a terminal illness, or chronic, progressive conditions. Existing readers who automatically turn to the textbook will welcome this updated edition of their familiar reference, whilst it will prove a fascinating read to a new generation of palliative care professionals. The rapid development of the specialty means the textbook is always thoroughly revised between editions, and the fourth edition is no exception. The original editors Geoffrey Hanks and Nathan Cherny are joined by 4 new editors who are leaders in the field, and represent a more global editorial approach than ever before. The multi-disciplinary nature of palliative care is emphasised throughout, whilst an entire section looks at the individual professional roles that contribute to the best-quality palliative care. Ethical issues are explored, including topical chapters on the controversial issues of withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining therapy, and euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide. Communication issues and the psychiatric, spiritual, and psychosocial issues so integral to modern palliative care are covered in depth. As palliative care has become an established and accepted specialty, there is the need for the evidence-base to match other areas of clinical medicine, and a section looks specifically at research in palliative care. The treatment of symptoms is comprehensively covered, with particular focus on the management of pain. Specific chapters are devoted to the role of palliative care in non-malignant diseases and conditions, whilst education and training are highlighted as critical to future best practice. The Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine has continually evolved, keeping pace with the changing face of palliative care, and this new edition ensures that it remains at the forefront of the specialty. No hospital, hospice, palliative care service, or medical library should be without a copy.
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