n South African Medical Journal - Palliative care : preventing misconceptions : correspondence

Volume 104, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



McQuoid-Mason's statement that 'Doctors who hasten the termination of the lives of their patients by withholding or withdrawing treatment or prescribing a potentially fatal palliative dose of medication satisfy the elements of intention and causation of a charge of murder against them' is of great concern. It highlights a disconnect between the professions of law and medicine and misconceptions regarding the practice of palliative care. Such statements influence professional and public perceptions and create barriers to patient and family access to quality end-of-life care that focuses on relief of suffering and improving quality of life.

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