Palliative Care: Our Moral Obligation
Palliative care (from Latin palliare - to cloak) is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing severity of disease symptoms rather than striving to halt, delay or reverse progression of the disease itself or provide cure. The goal is to prevent and relieve suffering and to improve quality of life for people facing serious, complex, incurable illness. Non hospice palliative care is not dependent on prognosis and is offered in conjunction with curative and all other appropriate forms of medical treatment1. There is often confusion between the terms palliative care and hospice. In United States of America (USA) two aspects of care share a similar philosophy but differ in their payment system and location of service. Unlike palliative care hospice service are usually provided by government fund or by charities outside traditional hospital. Elsewhere for example in United Kingdom (UK) this distinction is not operative. For all practical purpose it is better to use the broader term palliative care as hospice care is part of it.
J. Dhaka National Med. Coll. Hos. 2011; 17 (02): 52-55