End of life and palliative care is more than science, it’s a philosophy. Most of my medical career has been about fixing and curing things but with palliative care we’re moving the goal posts. The focus isn’t on tests, diagnoses and treatments but instead on improving quality of life and making today as comfortable as possible given the circumstances.
This sort of care is not easy and it isn’t one-size fits all.
People experience death in different ways and family dynamics and the different relationships that each person has with the person dying can make things challenging. Thoughtful communication, tailoring, and involving families in planning can all improve people’s experience and make for a dignified death.
The health care system could do a lot to improve on end-of-life-care but there are some great programs, projects and excellent resources out there. We’ve linked to some of them below but tell us what we’ve missed.