Palliative Cancer Care Ethics: Principles and Challenges in the Indian Setting
Indian journal of palliative care 2010 Sep; 16(3): 107-10
Palliative cancer treatment is a system of care that seeks to relieve suffering in patients with progressive cancer. Given the intractable symptoms with which certain malignancies manifest, palliative care offers a practical approach towards improving the patient's quality of life. However, there are an array of ethical issues associated with this treatment strategy such as particular methods of pain relief, a reliable assessment of suffering, autonomy, and multi-specialist care. While these principles are important to increase and improve the network of palliative care, the resource-poor Indian environments present numerous barriers for these principles to be practically applied. As the infrastructure of comprehensive cancer centers develop, paralleled with an increase in training of palliative care professionals, significant improvements need to be made in order to elevate the status of palliative cancer care in India.
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