When the Body is Past Fixing: Caring for Bodies, Caring for People

Kath Melia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and Objectives. To discuss the social context within which end-of-life nursing care takes place and to consider palliative options of last resort and the differences between societal and professional views on these.

Background. The distinction between life and death is not so straightforward as was once the case. Resuscitation and the increasing capability of intensive care to 'save' patients have implications for nursing practice in a society where there is an increasing demand that individuals should be able to choose the time of their death.

Method. This is a discursive paper.

Conclusion. The problem for professionals is that the call for choice of the individual involves a different approach to end-of-life care, an approach that does not sit well with current professional ethics. One way forward might be a gradual reconsidering of what end-of-life care might reasonably encompass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-622
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number5-6
Early online date15 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2014


  • palliative care
  • end of life care
  • ethics
  • death and dying


Dive into the research topics of 'When the Body is Past Fixing: Caring for Bodies, Caring for People'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this