Palliative Care Ethics

Palliative Care is a system of treatment which is administered to patient's suffering from acute illness to ease their pain, stress and symptoms of disease. As it is a comfort care administered to patient's nearing the end of their life, it poses many ethical issues and concerns.

The basic principle on which Palliative Care revolves is the dignity and value of life. It is basically a philosophy of care for the patient. As it aims at relieving the pain and stress of the patient and his family, it should not be too professionalized and money-oriented. It is a service, a service for those nearing the end of life. So, it should be based on love, sympathy, care and concern.

Palliative Care should focus on improving the quality of life of the patient and his family. It should also recognize the privacy, autonomy and priority of the patient and his family. Though it can make suggestions regarding the course of treatment and the methods to be followed while undergoing medical procedures, it should recognize the patient's freedom in making decisions.

Palliative Care should also respect the individuality of the patient. Whatever be the patient's condition, he is an individual. It is his life and he has the full freedom of choice. He is the owner of his life. So it is the patient and his needs that are of utmost importance at any point of time. So, Palliative care should only assist the patient and his family in living their lives. They should not take over the charge of controlling the lives of the patient and his family.

The Palliative Care Ethics depends on the values and beliefs of all involved in administering Palliative Care. Its framework is actually based on the moral values and principles of the professionals involved, patients concerned, their families and the society as a whole. Palliative Care is a very sensitive issue. It is a blessing if it is rendered in the appropriate manner.

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