Burton J. Tabaac, MD
As physicians and healthcare providers, we often focus on restorative care and efficacious treatments. It is paramount, and of high import, that we are competent and trained to provide high-quality end-of-life care as well. Essential in our role is the ability to offer comfort measures when consistent with a patient’s wishes, and to serve as a source of information and support for family members when loved ones are transitioning to comfort-guided care.
This article’s authors provide a contemporary review of the literature and offer recommendations on how providers may integrate palliative medicine into the care of their patients. Palliative care is an approach to medical care for patients with serious illness. It includes end-of-life and hospice care, but is much broader. Palliative care is not limited to those with a terminal prognosis, but rather is appropriate at any age and at any stage of a serious illness.(1) The article articulates, “Palliative care focuses on improving communication about goals of care and maximizing comfort and quality of life of patients and families through the identification, prevention, and relief of pain and suffering in body, mind, and spirit.”