Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

What is palliative care?


Further information

  • About this project
  • youtube Diane Meier, MD, FACP

The definition and perceptions of palliative care have evolved over time to move beyond care of the dying, to care of those with a life limiting illness.

Palliative care

  • is the care given to patients whose illness cannot be cured. It aims to allow patients to live with quality as long as possible.
  • is often confused with end of life care. End of life, or terminal care, is the care given to the patient in their final days of life.
  • can be introduced as soon as the patient is diagnosed with a life limiting illness.
  • focuses on maintaining quality of life by controlling symptoms that are concerning the patient, such as pain or constipation. It treats the patient and their family/significant others in a holistic manner.
  • is about supporting patients and their family/significant others to live well while they manage their illness.

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-limiting illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering, by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die

The question is not whether we will die but how we will live