Palliative & EOL Care

End-of-life care is supportive and compassionate care that focuses on comfort, quality of life, respect for personal health care treatment decisions, support for the family, and psychological, cultural and spiritual concerns for dying people and their families.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people with serious illness – whatever the diagnosis. Care can be provided wherever the client is living, whether at home, in hospice, an assisted living residence or a residential care facility.

End-of-life and palliative care services aim to preserve an individual’s comfort, dignity and quality of life as their needs change, and to offer on-going support for family and friends. These services include the following: care co-ordination and consultation, pain and symptom management, community nursing services, community rehabilitation services, home support, respite for the caregiver and residential hospice care.

Palliative Care

The World Health Organization defines palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.

Palliative care:

  • provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;
  • affirms life and regards dying as a normal process;
  • intends neither to hasten nor postpone death;
  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient;
  • offers a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death;
  • offers a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness and in their own bereavement;
  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated;
  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness; and
  • is applicable early in the course of illness, in conjunction with other therapies that are intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes those investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing clinical complications

Palliative Care for the Patient with Incurable Cancer or Advanced Disease – Province of British Columbia

BC Palliative Care Benefits – Information for Prescribers – Province of British Columbia

PDF document

Palliative and Hospice Websites

BC Hospice & Palliative Care Association

Vancouver Coastal Health – Hospice palliative care

Fraser Health – Hospice palliative care

Canadian Virtual Hospice

Provides information on palliative and end-of-life care

EOL Care

End-of-Life Care – Province of British Columbia

“BC Palliative Care benefits are available to BC residents of any age who have reached the end stage of a life-threatening disease or illness and who wish to receive palliative care at home—meaning wherever the person is living, whether in their own home, with family or friends, in a supportive/assisted living residence, or in a hospice unit at a residential care facility (e.g. a community hospice bed that is not covered under PharmaCare Plan B).

Eligible patients receive:

  • coverage of medications used in palliative care through the PharmaCare BC Palliative Care Drug Plan, and
  • medical supplies and equipment through the local health authority.”

Medical Assistance in Dying

Medical Assistance in Dying – Province of British Columbia

Patients and their families have many decisions to make when faced with end-of-life care or intolerable suffering. It’s important for British Columbians to know and understand all the health care options available to them.

Medical assistance in dying provides patients, who may be experiencing intolerable suffering due to a grievous and irremediable (incurable) medical condition, the option to end their life with the assistance of a doctor or nurse practitioner.

Medical assistance in dying is provided only to legally eligible patients. To ensure this service is provided in a safe manner, a system of safeguards has been designed to protect vulnerable people and support all people to make an informed decision.

British Columbians seeking medical assistance in dying should speak with their doctor, nurse practitioner or local health authority.

What is medical assistance in dying?

Medical assistance in dying occurs when an authorized doctor  or nurse practitioner provides or administers medication that intentionally brings about a person’s death, at that person’s request. This procedure is only available to eligible patients.

Personal Planning

Wills and Estate Planning

Legal

The Checklist for Ethical and Legal Obligations (ChELO)

The Checklist for Ethical and Legal Obligations (ChELO) is an innovative approach to ensure patient-centred decision-making, and supports healthcare professionals to meet ethical and legal obligations to patients at end-of-life.

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