What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness.
Palliative care provides many services, including:

  • relief from pain and other symptoms
  • affirming life and regarding dying as a normal process
  • not hastening or postponing death
  • integrating the psychological and spiritual aspects of care
  • offering a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death
  • offering support to the family to help cope during this difficult time
  • enhancing the quality of life
  • improving the course of the illness

Palliative care differs from curative care in that it is not intended to cure the disease. As a result, routine IV’s, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery would only be appropriate if the physician and the hospice staff determine these procedures in some way enhance the patient’s quality of life.