Oncology versus palliative care

So I’ve just read this article in KevinMD about oncology and palliative care: The Tension Between Oncology and Palliative Care

Whilst I agree with the overall sentiment I think we can generally do better. First of all – this isn’t an issue unique to oncology – it is important for all sub-specialties and all patients/consumers where end-of-life is an issue.

Secondly this is a societal issue. Bottom-line is that nobody lives forever and so thinking about these things is important for both individuals and society. Society needs to get beyond the notion that technology trumps death.

Thirdly we need to move beyond palliative care as end-of-life care to the notion that supportive and symptomatic care is useful throughout the whole illness. This will both improve outcomes overall and prevent harm.

In an ideal world there is no oncology versus palliative care, there is just care.

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