Current Perspectives and Future Directions in Palliative Medicine

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Intractable illnesses such as advanced cancer, AIDS, and chronic progressive neurological diseases present health-care professionals with an array of symptoms and ethical issues that demand extensive exploration and consideration. As the quest for advances in symptomatology continues, it is imperative to disseminate and integrate the knowledge currently available in palliative medicine. The International Symposium on Current Perspectives and Future Directions in Palliative Medicine was held in Tokyo in October 1997 to provide health-care professionals with a multidisciplinary approach for improving comprehensive palliative care. With invited speakers from North America, Europe, and Japan, the symposium focused on standard management and clinical trials of control of symptoms such as pain and cachexia, ethics in palliative medicine, the economics of health care, quality-of-life research, management of depression, and patient education.