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  1. Bill Noble
  1. Correspondence to Bill Noble, Academic Unit of Supportive Care, University of Sheffield, Sykes House, Little Common Lane, Sheffield S11 9NE, UK; bill.noble{at}

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James Beattie and Miriam Johnson's editorial describing the research that supports the use of subcutaneous furosemide in terminal cardiac failure suggests that our practice lies on the border of evidence-based medicine. Trials defining which groups of patients and under what regimes a loop diuretic should be given by this route are clearly indicated. They suggest that it is the responsibility of physicians in palliative care services to initiate these studies.

One paper for younger readers is Amara Nuosa and Stephen Mason's review of the six palliative care related apps on the five most popular operating systems. They conclude that development of mobile technology may have potential to improve data sharing and education within the specialty. Perhaps older readers should also take an interest.

Two studies based on semistructured interviews in this issue carry interesting messages for clinicians. The first, Barbara Hanratty's data on patients' experiences of being given bad news is a welcome insight into the nuts and bolts of how to do it. Although the picture is mixed, accounts reiterate patients' preference for information given clearly, by a professional whom they know, while accompanied by family members. Under these circumstances a direct approach is not seen as uncaring. …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.