It’s not all about death: conversations with patients in palliative care


When I introduce myself to a patient as a palliative care doctor, the question that often follows is: “Am I dying?”

I guess in one sense we’re all dying. In this case, though, the question implies an immediacy. Yet working in palliative care involves surprisingly little immediate dying.

Yes we work with people who have incurable illnesses, but their prognoses vary between weeks, months and even years. And we see other patients potentially being cured but who experience significant side effects from