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End-of-life and palliative care in dementia

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Julian Hughes


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© 2017 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. A philosophical question that arises in connection with dementia is when should end-of-life or palliative care begin? In the popular mind, palliative care is associated with dying. So palliative care begins when the person is dying, but when is that? ese are both practical and conceptual problems. ey are even more pointed when it comes to dementia. For dementia is a condition that is variable in both its nature and progression. We can stipulate that end-of-life care in dementia refers to the last 6 or 12 months of life. But why should this be the case? e person with dementia may be quite active 5 months before he or she dies. We could, alternatively, stipulate that endof-life care refers only to the last few hours or days. But this would then ignore all those decisions - about articial nutrition and hydration, the use of antibiotics or cardiopulmonary resuscitation - which are about end-of-life and are oen much better made well before the last few hours or days. It makes much more sense, therefore, to extend the concept of end-of-life backwards; in which case, it is more natural to speak of palliative care.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes JC, van der Steen JT

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Dementia

Year: 2017

Pages: 344-348

Print publication date: 02/02/2017

Online publication date: 24/02/2017

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Edition: 5th

Publisher: CRC Press

Place Published: Boca Raton, FL, USA


DOI: 10.1201/9781315381572

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781498703116