Relieving chronic breathlessness is a human right

David Christopher Currow, Małgorzata Krajnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic breathlessness, defined as breathlessness that persists despite optimising the treatment of underlying causes, is recognised by recent international consensus as a distinct clinical syndrome. Across our communities, population-based studies of chronic breathlessness expose an enormous burden from this. Among the palliative care population, one in four people die with severe breathlessness despite treatment from a palliative care service. Recently, the relief of breathlessness was claimed to be a human right, particularly when there are treatments available to alleviate the unnecessary suffering caused by chronic breathlessness. The timely recognition of, and response to chronic breathlessness is a crucial clinical skill.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-10
Number of pages3
JournalPalliative Medicine in Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic breathlessness
  • Chronic disease
  • Health
  • Human right
  • Palliative care
  • Well-being

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