My purpose in this paper is to emphasize certain facts and modes of thought which it is hoped will cross the mind of the reader when next he encounters a patient suffering the pain so frequently attending the terminal phase of incurable cancer.
It is essential that the observer assure himself that this is a terminal case, that all avenues of therapy have been blocked, all methods of treatment exhausted, and that the comfort of the patient is the only thing for which he can hope. Even at this point it is incumbent on the physician to be on the alert for any sign which might indicate that new therapy or further treatment might promise a period, however short, of useful existence.
Most obvious and most essential among the measures to insure the patient's enjoyment of his last weeks of life is the question of adequate nursing care. While the