Definitions

Definitions Palliative Care:

  • is interdisciplinary care focused on relieving suffering and improving quality of life.
  • may be combined with therapies aimed at reducing or curing the illness, or it may be the total focus of care.
  • grew out of and improves hospice care.

Dr. Charles von Gunten on palliative care and relief of suffering:

 

National Consensus Project defines it and the World Health Organization defines it, as “interdisciplinary care focused on relieving suffering and improving quality of life.”

What do you notice about this definition?

It does not say anything about dying. It does not say anything about how suffering will be relieved? So it should be clear that palliative care may be combined with therapies aimed at reducing or curing the illness, or it may be the total focus of care. We’ll come back to this, because this is one of the core concepts that’s key for it to be integrated into the health care system. Palliative care certainly grew out of and improves hospice care, and all care in hospice programs is palliative, but not all palliative care occurs in hospice programs or hospice-like programs.


WHO Definition of Palliative Care

 

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