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Palliative Care

Palliative care is both a medical subspecialty and, more broadly, a philosophy of health care focused on the alleviation of suffering and improvement of quality of life in patients of any age with chronic illnesses. Palliative care employs an interdisciplinary, patient/family-centered approach to physical, psychosocial, and spiritual care. Traditionally, palliative care has focused on patients at the end of life, especially those with cancer. However, since the beginning of the 21st century, there has been a movement to expand palliative care access to symptomatic patients with chronic illnesses regardless of prognosis.

Palliative care is provided in a number of settings, including acute care hospitals, outpatient clinics, and patient homes. In the United States, many patients at the end of life receive palliative care through hospices, organizations ...

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