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What is Palliative Care?

   The World Health Organization has defined palliative care as:

"The active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment.  Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems is paramount.  The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best possible quality of life of patients and their families.  Many aspects of palliative care are also applicable earlier in the course of the illness ..."

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association has defined palliative care as:

"Palliative care is aimed at relief of suffering and improving the quality of life for persons

who are living with or dying from advanced illness or are bereaved ."

 © 2009 The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. All rights reserved.