Bioethics Blogs

Palliative Care Is the Path Alongside the River of Curative Treatment

Dominic Wilkinson is a Consultant Neonatologist and Director of Medical Ethics at the University of Oxford.  A recent short article on prognostication includes a great metaphor for palliative care.

“Conventional medical treatment is more akin to a river, while palliative care is the path running alongside. Sometimes it is appropriate to climb out of the water, and to walk more slowly along the towpath. Often, once people have left it, they have no desire to return to the river. But others will find, after some time, that they are ready to plunge back in. This may be for a short dip, or for a long swim. But the palliative path will be there at the side when they need it.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.