All general medical, surgical, and psychiatric patients deserve palliative approaches to their care. Palliative psychiatry, especially, deserves clinical and ethical attention because of its promise as an emerging field renewing attention to patients whose illnesses—such as treatment resistant depression—and symptoms—such as persistent suicidality—challenge our faith in health care as a life-affirming source of hope. Responding with care to vulnerabilities and needs of these patients requires prioritizing symptom management, relieving suffering, focusing on quality of life, reducing harms of aggressive interventions, and minimizing use of physical or chemical force. This theme issue investigates how inquiry into palliative psychiatry can reinvigorate core philosophy of medicine investigations into what health care is for.
This issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics explores palliative psychiatry as one response to pharmacological futility that reinvigorates core philosophy of medicine investigations into what health care is for.
AMA J Ethics. 2023;25(9):E653-654. doi:
Dr Cynthia Geppert joins Ethics Talk to discuss how teaching health professions students and trainees about palliative psychiatry reinvigorates core philosophy of medicine investigations into what health care is for.