Compassion and Support


Patients & Families

Palliative Care - Professionals

According to the National Consensus Project for Quality Palliative Care, palliative care is both a philosophy of care and an organized, highly structured system for delivering care.

Philosophically, palliative care affirms life and views dying as a normal process.  The intent is to neither hasten nor postpone death.  Palliative care provides relief from pain and symptoms, integrates psychological and spiritual care, uses an interdisciplinary team approach and provides a support system for the "family", as defined by the patient.

Palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve quality of life for patients with advanced illness and their families and is offered simultaneously with all other appropriate medical treatment to manage the underlying illness from the time of diagnosis.  Palliative care deals with the art, science and limits of medicine.

Three key pillars of palliative care include

  1. Advance Care Planning: a two-step approach
  2. Pain Management and symptom management, including shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, etc.
  3. Caregiver Support

Palliative care focuses on understanding the patient's core values and beliefs to help establish the patient's goals for care that may include longevity, functional preservation or comfort care.  These goals for care assist in shared, informed medical decision-making about both routine medical treatments and decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment.  Honest, open conversations provide opportunities for personal growth for the patient. 

My Wife's Cancer Yields Lessons for Health Care by David Klein

Palliative Care Information Act  (PCIA)   NYSPHL Section 2997-c, effective February 9, 2011
NEW!  New York State Public Health Law

  • Attending health care practitioner must offer to provide information and counseling about palliative care to patients with a terminal condition
    • range of options appropriate to the patient
    • prognosis
    • risks and benefits of various options
    • patient's "legal rights to comprehensive pain and symptom management at the end of life"
  • Information and counseling can be provided to a person with authority to make health care decisions for the patient if the patient lacks decision making capacity.

Palliative Care Access Act (PCAA)   NYSPHLSection 2997-d, effective September 27, 2011
NEW!  New York State Public Health Law

  • Hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and two types of assisted living residences
         (enhanced and special needs) shall
    • establish policies and procedures regarding palliative care, including access to information and counseling
    • facilitate access to appropriate palliative care consultations and services

    The PCAA expands upon the requirements of the Palliative Care Information Act (PCIA).

    Key Resources on Palliative Care

    Key Resources on NYS Palliative Care Information Act

    Key Resources on NYS Palliative Care Access Act

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