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  1. Bill Noble
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bill Noble, Academic Unit of Supportive Care, University of Sheffield, Sykes House, Little Common Lane, Sheffield s11 9ne, UK; bill.noble{at}sheffield.ac.uk

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My choice for this issue comes from a group of papers that explore foreseeing, foretelling and planning in palliative care. The art and science of prognosis, once the principle focus of the medical profession, became unfashionable when doctors discovered the means to change some of the outcomes of pathological processes. So it is no surprise that clinician-scientists in our line of work retain an interest in attempts to estimate survival.

We see a number of different methodologies in relation to research questions about prognosis. In this line of enquiry, even the quantitative studies mostly employ …

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