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 Palliative Care

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problem 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 or postpone death;

  • integrates the psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care;

  • 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 patients illness and in their own bereavement;

  • uses a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counseling, if indicated;

  • will enhance quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of illness;

  • 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.

WHO definition 2002


Hospice [care] = Support and care for persons in the last phase of an incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. Hospice [care]:

  • recognizes that the dying process is a part of the normal process of living and focuses on enhancing the quality of remaining life.

  • affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death.

  • exists in the hope and belief that though appropriate care, and the promotion of a caring community sensitive to their needs, that individuals and their families may be free to attain a degree of satisfaction in preparation for death.

  • recognizes that human growth and development can be a lifelong process.

  • seeks to preserve and promote the inherent potential for growth within individuals and families during the last phase of life.

  • offers palliative care for all individuals and their families without regard to age, gender nationality, race, creed, sexual orientation, disability, diagnosis, availability of a primary care giver, or ability to pay.

Hospice programs provide state-of-the-art palliative care and supportive services to individuals at the end of their lives, their family members and significant others, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in both the home and facility-based settings. Physical, social, spiritual and emotional care are provided by a clinically-directed interdisciplinary team consisting of patients and their families, professionals and volunteers during the:

  1. Last stages of an illness;

  2. Dying process; and

  3. Bereavement period.

Hospice Standards of Practice, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, 2000.

Hospice in context of Nepal

Cancer is on the increase in Nepal. More often than not, the patients present at a late stage when therapeutic options no longer remain an option. Even when the patient present with an early disease, it can either be cured or after remaining confined by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy for a certain period, it will eventually escape and become disseminated in the body. When such a stage is reached, many physician feel helpless as there seems very little one can do but to look helplessly as the patient slowly withers away. Because of constraints of resources in hospitals, the palliative services are seldom possible and families have to take their loved ones home where adequate nursing care, pain and symptoms control cannot be achieved. It is painful to see our loved ones die, but is even more distressful to see them suffer.

Hitherto, there was no dedicated hospice service in Nepal. In year 2000, we launched Hospice Nepal to provide hospice service in a very humble manner with just four beds. We offered free bed in the general ward, free nursing care and free doctor's consultation.




Copyright 2007. All right reserved.

Lagankhel, Lalitpur, Nepal
Tel.: 5551280, 5534820

E-mail: praidya@hotmail.com
Website: www.hospicenepal.org.np