Renal Failure- Who Cares?: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the University of East Anglia, England, 6-7 April 1982

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The last 20 years has seen an enormous increase in our knowledge about the management of patients with terminal renal failure. Despite this, even the most successful dialysis and transplant patients require long term specialist supervision so that renal units will have an incremental work load until the death rate of patients undergoing treatment equals the rate of intake of new patients. Furthermore, innumerable conditions which were once regarded as contraindications to therapy may no longer be seen in this light, so that the number of new patients coming forward for treatment each year is increasing rapidly. Dialysis and transplantation are expensive forms of treatment, in terms of staff, facilities and consumables, and it is therefore inevitable that there will be problems in providing treatment for all who need it. These will be particularly acute in times of economic crisis. This book contains the proceedings of a conference which was set up to explore the difference between the supply and the demand for treatment in the United Kingdom, to compare the situation with that in other countries, to explore possible solutions and possibly assign responsibility for the shortfall and to examine the practical and moral implications of our failure to treat the treatable.