The Importance Of Palliative Care For The Dying Patient

1738 words - 7 pages

Comfort measures are crucial for the dying patient and their loved ones. Comfort measures, not only, include pain management but also massage, music, position changes, and heat, which are all just as important. Palliative care is an extremely important aspect of nursing. Palliative care “focuses more broadly on improving life and providing comfort to people of all ages with serious, chronic, and life-threatening illnesses” ( The ultimate goal of comfort measures and palliative care is to ensure that the patient has a more relaxed and peaceful death (End of Life care: An Ethical Overview, 16). Other important aspects of palliative care consists of hygiene measures, which includes keeping the patient dry and clean, offering food and fluids often, and keeping the patient, along with the family, as comfortable as possible. Some try to argue that drugs, like Morphine, should not be given to the dying because it speeds up the dying process, but I believe that their death is inevitable and it is best to make the patient as comfortable as possible. For many families, the thought of losing their family member is too much to handle but with pain management, at least, the patient gets to die a relatively pain-free death. This can be comforting for the family. Although, there are pain medications that can suppress the respiratory and cardiovascular system, the patient, typically, has a much more peaceful death, as opposed to not having any sort of drug.
Palliative care “focuses more broadly on improving life and providing comfort to people of all ages with serious, chronic, and life-threatening illnesses” ( Palliative care is not the same as hospice, since it is not only for the dying. According to, it is for patients who may have “serious, chronic, and life-threatening illnesses”. Palliative care is vital for the comfort of the person. Supporters of palliative care feel that it is against two of the main ethical principles of healthcare to not recognize the suffering of the terminally ill (End of Life Care: An Ethical Overview, 16). These principles are beneficence and non-maleficence (End of Life Care: An Ethical Overview, 16). Beneficence means that the healthcare provider is helping or attempting to help the patient (End of Life Care: An Ethical Overview, 16). Non-maleficence means that the healthcare provider is not harming the patient (End of Life Care: An Ethical Overview, 16). Palliative care includes an around-the-clock pain management schedule. Those who “received early palliative care actually had lower rates of depression and better quality of life than patients who received standard treatment only” ( According to WebMD, a study was published August 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital which compared palliative care to standard care for lung cancer patients. The study found that those patients who received...

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