Palliative Care. Palliative Care is not about curing; it is about quality of life. Historical Evolution. Middle Ages Religious orders established hospices at roads on the way to religious shrines.
Palliative Care is not about curing; it is about quality of life.
Religious orders established hospices at roads on the way to religious shrines.
Served as shelter to the pilgrims, many of whom were travelling to the shrines in order to cure chronic illnesses.
XVI - XVIII Century
Religious orders offered care to the sick and dying (mostly in Ireland and England).
Dame Cicely Saunders
In 1967 Doctor Saunders founded St. Christopher’s Hospice in London where she developed a modern model of hospice care.
“Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening 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.” (WHO, 2002)
“Palliative care is the total care of patients whose disease is no longer responsive to curative therapy. This type of care, consisting of comfort measures, is meant to provide a relief of pain and suffering so the patient can die with dignity.” (Bonnie F. Fremgen, Medical Law and Ethics)
Quality of life
Patients and their families
Relief of suffering
Other physical symptoms
Die with dignity
It is of the most importance that the physicians are certain that the disease is irreversible and incurable, in order to withdraw the curative therapy and start palliative care.
When a patient is feeling pain, he/she may experience:
These problems are not treatable through medicine. Patients, knowing that they are going to die, may feel anguish, anxiety, abandonment and sadness due to various factors:
Patients may also feel like a burden to their families, especially when they are being cared at home.