A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Palliative Care: a human right and moral imperative


Palliative care is the term used to describe care provided when cure is no longer possible. It is a term that evokes an emotional response in most people. When introduced for the first time, for many, it can be a time of uncertainty and misperception. It usually signifies a serious and progressive illness personally or in a loved one; and the mention of palliative care may evoke fear about impending death. The diagnosis of a life-limiting illness – especially at an early age – is a devastating experience and often unexpectedly we come face to face with our own mortality. It is in this context that we may hear about palliative care for the first time. End of life care is one aspect of palliative care.