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September 10, 1982

The Dying Patient: The Medical Management of Incurable and Terminal Illness

JAMA. 1982;248(10):1249. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330100075050

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The first half of this book discusses various typically incurable illnesses. The best sections, such as those on renal failure and breast cancer, consider treatment options in the light of the patient's overall condition, social situation, and general prognosis. The chapters on cardiac disease and lesscommon malignancies, however, lose this theme and become little more than briefer versions of what may be better found in standard texts. The treatment of lung cancer is interesting in its discussion of palliation, but should be more up to date on chemotherapy.

Worthwhile sections on dementia and on terminal illness in the elderly highlight the role of social problems and solutions in this area, where the purely medical approach often falls short. Stress is also placed on the importance of diagnosis in approaching each new problem in a chronically ill person. Coverage of caring for children with cancer emphasizes a team approach, including the