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October 1973

The Care of Terminally Ill Patients

Author Affiliations

Iowa City; Springfield, Ill

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City (Dr. Noyes), and the Department of Psychiatry, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, Ill.

Arch Intern Med. 1973;132(4):607-611. doi:10.1001/archinte.1973.03650100115023

Abrief questionnaire concerning the care of terminally ill patients was distributed to all physicians in the state of Iowa. It was the opinion of its authors that changes in the management of such patients, resulting from advances in technology and alterations in the financing of medical practice, had been causing a reexamination of attitudes towards their care. It was, therefore, the aim of the survey to determine the existing attitudes of Iowa physicians towards the treatment of this group of patients. Three thousand two hundred questionnaires were distributed and resulted in 1,600 replies.1 Comments were invited and 20% of those who responded expressed their views on the subject of the questionnaire. Their replies revealed a deep concern for the problems of dying patients. Even more, they gave moving expression to the art of medicine and to wisdom gained through years of experience with patients for whom the science of

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