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Use of medicines in palliative care
  1. Franco De Conno
  1. Correspondence to Dr F De Conno, Honorary director of the EAPC, Honorary chairman of the ResNet of the EAPC, Via Venezian 1, Milano, Italy, 20133; Franco.DeConno{at}

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For centuries the essence of palliative care was a central point of medicine, even if the term was not yet used. Having few means to cure the patient, the ‘treatment’ concentrated more on the person, trying to give comfort, support and attention to dignity. With the introduction of so called modern medicine, there was a shift in attention from the whole patient to the disease or pathology only. In the technology oriented society of the years 1950–1970, dignity and quality of life were not high on the agenda. Communication between healthcare professionals and patients and their families was limited and poor.

In this context, palliative care was born with the …

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