When doctors can no longer provide medical treatment and have to accept the inevitable, death, there is still much to be done: to help patients to live with dignity until the end. This is a task which confronts the medical staff with the paradigm of curing which formed the basis of their training. For their part, the patient’s loved ones begin a journey full of pain and uncertainty.
A terminal illness has a great emotional impact on those who suffer it, as well as those around them and the medical team too. It is easy to become desperate when you know what the final outcome will be. Nevertheless, there is so much still to be done and it is so important! Because if you accept the inevitable, you can avoid much suffering. Palliative care consists in active and whole-person attention to the needs of patients who have a limited life prognosis, as well as their family and friends.
In this difficult task of accompanying someone, the author of this book, knows what it is to be a father, what it means to lose a son, what it is to be a doctor and what it means to be ill. He shares with medical professionals and the nursing staff how to get through this stage of life calmly, with hope, gratefulness and comfort so it is as pain-free and as dignified as possible.
Julio Gómez Cañedo (Bilbao, 1969) is a doctor and holds a Master’s Degree in Paliative Care. He currently works in a palliative care team at the Hospital San Juan de Dios in Santurtzi (Bizkaia). He coordinates the Psychosocial Attention team at this hospital and is a member of the Ethics Committee of the province of Castille of the San Juan de Dios hospital order .He is also a member of the Adsis communities.