Palliative care is aimed at providing support for individuals and loved ones coping with a life-limiting illness.
This service is offered when a cure is no longer possible, but does not signify the end of treatment. It is an active approach to care that focuses on addressing the concerns and needs of both patients and loved ones. Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of those facing an incurable illness through the provision of symptom management as well as physical, psychological, social, emotional, spiritual, and practical support.
End-of-life care is for those whose life expectancy is very limited. They are offered to patients who are nearing the end of their life.
Both are regulated by an Act Respecting End-of-Life Care. The Act therefore regulates:
The following are also regulated by this act:
The provision of end-of-life care is guided by the following principles:
- Respect for the individual and recognition of their rights and freedoms must inspire every act performed in their regard.
- End-of-life patients must be treated, at all times, with understanding, compassion, courtesy and fairness, and with respect for their dignity, autonomy, wishes, needs, and safety.
- The healthcare team providing care to end-of-life patients must establish and maintain open and transparent communication with them.
End-of-life patients have the right to:
- Receive end-of-life care
- Refuse or withdraw consent to care
- Be represented
- Express their wishes
These services are provided by a range of health professionals. As the case becomes more complex, a specialized team is likely to be involved.
Speak to your healthcare provider.
Palliative care and end-of-life care are offered:
- At home
- In hospitals
- In long-term care facilities
- In palliative care homes (hospices)