Terminology issues in the field of palliative care

Noriaki Egawa

20 February 2002

Last year, I drafted and translated medical papers in both Japanese and English, as a promotion of a new drug (Fentanyl patch, a transdermal therapeutic system for fentanyl) in palliative care. Since palliative care in Japan was a new and young field, various ideas, such as terminology, could not be defined clearly. In such situation, it was difficult to describe clinical effects of the new drug. I consulted many references published abroad, as well as domestic references related to palliative care.

The core of palliative care is cancer pain control. In 1986, "Cancer Pain Relief" was published by the WHO, and the WHO Cancer Pain Relief Program is in extensive use internationally, as a guideline in palliative care.

Since approaches to palliative care in Japan differ from those overseas, the idea of palliative care (medicine) in English does not correspond to that in Japanese. There also are different ideas of administration of narcotic (opioid) analgesics between Japan and other countries, and the Japanese palliative care is suggested not to work well.

This lecture discussed different ideas (definitions) of some words in the new field of palliative care, and usage of these words in drafting and translating.

The discussion was continued at Peking.

[back to index of past meetings]