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March 9, 1994

Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester (NY) Cancer Center

JAMA. 1994;271(10):793-794. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510340083044

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The United States has lagged far behind Canada and the United Kingdom in both clinical programs and research in palliative medicine. Until recently, palliative care was denigrated by many American physicians as unworthy, unscientific, and even unprofessional (ie, more properly in the realm of nursing). This new textbook, with three editors (from the UK and Canada), 18 sections, and over 70 chapters, should go a long way toward convincing American readers that palliative medicine is important, scientific, and compellingly interesting.

The section on pain management is by far the most extensive and the only one to have a preponderance of American authors. Discussions of the pathophysiology of pain, pain assessment, and treatment with pharmacologic, anesthetic, neurosurgical, and psychological means are thorough and scholarly. Readers with an interest in this topic will find little new information, but all will appreciate the comprehensiveness and clarity of the material. The chapters on other

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