The first principle of palliative medicine is to relieve the pain and other distressing symptoms that have otherwise become a burden to those living with serious or advanced illness. In addition to addressing pain or other symptoms systemically, palliative support helps coordinate complicated medical care—helping patients and families understand their treatment options while each patient formulates their personal goals.
In the rapidly changing landscape of health care, palliative care is actually a relatively new specialty—and because of that, it is often misunderstood by patients, families, and even some physicians. We want to eliminate the misunderstandings, so that our patients and families can instead focus on getting the support, counseling and resources to help reduce the stress that often comes with a serious medical diagnosis.
Here are five common myths about palliative care that we would like patients and families to get the facts on: