eISSN: 2081-2833
ISSN: 2081-0016
Medycyna Paliatywna/Palliative Medicine
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vol. 9
Original paper

New form of support for terminally ill patients, their caregivers, and medical staff – pilot program of thanatological centre and clinic

Krzysztof Szmyd
Barbara Królak-Olejnik
Katarzyna Muszyńska-Rosłan
Robert Śmigiel
Agnieszka Pasławska
Magdalena Kraśnicka-Mosiołek
Jadwiga Węcławek-Tompol

Online publish date: 2018/02/01
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More than half of terminally ill patients in Poland die in hospital. This group of patients has relatively little contact with palliative medicine specialists. For this reason, and because of the many problems that incurable patients and their caregivers face, we propose the establishment of a new institution – a thanatological centre and clinic. The thanatological outpatient clinic is addressed to a different target group of patients/carers/health care workers than the palliative care clinic. Among the key problems are the issues of futile therapy, the problem of cessation of causal treatment, and the ethical evaluation of individual choices made by the patient, which may require professional support, especially in patients with non-cancerous diseases. Other challenges include unbearable suffering and the lack of knowledge about effective symptomatic treatment available today. Because of the expansion of natural medicine and its potentially negative influence on the decisions of the sick and the caregivers, there is a need to provide patients and their families/carers with access to scientific analysis that objectively demonstrates the efficacy of these treatments. The provision of specialised psychological support and the conduct of scientific research are the next important tasks of the thanatological centre and clinic. This paper presents the rationale behind the project and the differences between existing and newly created clinics. The thanatological centre and clinic are addressed to patients, health professionals, and families/carers who care for the terminally ill.

thanatology, thanatological centre, thanatological clinic, death, dying

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