7.2 Palliative Care

Characteristics of Palliative Care

The aim of palliative care is to enhance quality of life and promote patient dignity (Ho et al., 2017). Its defining principles include controlling physical symptoms and supporting psychological and spiritual needs. These services are delivered by multidisciplinary teams of experts and can take place in a hospital, hospice, and at home (see next Chapter section). Although often thought to be a service only for the dying, palliative care is not only about end-of-life care (Covenant Health Canada, 2019; Collins, 2017; Health Canada, 2018).

Palliative Care Efforts Focus On:

  • Improving quality of living and dying
  • Placing patient values and wishes at the forefront of treatment considerations
  • Managing stress
  • Comforting patients
  • Treating and controlling symptoms
  • Reducing pain and suffering
  • Mitigating the consequences of a disease
  • Providing psychological, social, emotional, spiritual, and practical support for patients and their families

(Covenant Health Canada, 2019; Health Canada, 2018).

What Really Matters at The End of Life

In the following TED talk Dr. B.J. Miller, a hospice and palliative medicine physician, talks about how he aims to create dignified, graceful, end-of-life experiences for his patients.


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On Death and Dying (Original) Copyright © 2022 by Jacqueline Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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