Palliative care

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Palliative care is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “…an approach which improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness, through the prevention, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psycho-social and spiritual problems”.
Palliative care is generally underpinned by the following principles:

  • A focus on quality of life, including good symptom control
  • A whole person approach, taking into account the person’s past and current situation
  • Care that focuses on both the person with the illness and those that matter to the person
  • A respect for patient autonomy and choice
  • An emphasis on open and sensitive communication