e D1 and D2) This result is consistent with what is stated by s

e. D1 and D2). This result is consistent with what is stated by several studies showing that the control of symptoms and of the psychosocial dimension of dying [15,17,25,26,35-41], is given a higher relevance than the control of the dying process by the patient himself [15,19,25,26,34,51,55]. With regard to symptoms, the control of pain and of psychological distress (i.e. A1 and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical A2) is acknowledged as fundamental, while being assisted by a staff member in order to make the process of dying more comfortable (i.e. A3) is considered as less relevant. This result seems to be counteracted by the evidence from the literature,

which shows that being comfortable is seen as important both by patients and by health care professionals [59]. As to the Proteasome inhibitor relational and social dimension, a large number of documents state that individual preferences Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical as well as personal values and beliefs

(i.e. B1) should be respected and honoured. This issue has been extensively discussed in the literature [4,12,23,25,51,56,60] and is particularly relevant for patients sharing cultural values which are different from those dominant in society [17]. Most documents combine the respect for personal beliefs and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical values with the importance of addressing one’s spiritual needs and of facilitating religious practices Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical (i.e. D2), thus showing consideration for individual preferences both from the relational and from the existential perspective. However, the importance attributed to respect for individual preferences seems to be in contradiction with the minor weight lent to

the choice of the place of dying (i.e. C2). Further discrepancies can be found between issues related to preparation and issues related to the relational and social dimension of dying. Indeed, many documents recognise the importance of good communication between the patient and Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical the caring staff (i.e. B3), and state that communication should include information about diagnosis and prognosis, as well as the discussion of issues related to death and dying. Yet, this result jars with the fact that only a few documents refer to the awareness of diagnosis and of impending death (i.e. C1), an omission which is even more striking since how often Western surveys address this issue [4,12,23,25,51,53,57,60]. It Isotretinoin might be argued that, due to the discrepancies between the element of preparation and the relational and social area, it is not possible to derive from the documents an integrated model of best palliative care practice. In particular, it might be suggested that the documents do not offer a coherent model for policies directed to the actual empowerment of patients in the decision-making process. This is especially evident with regard to end-of-life decisions.

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