What is Palliative Medicine?
Palliative medicine is supportive care for people with advanced illness.
“Palliate” means to ease. The focus of palliative medicine
is to ease suffering that results from illness. Palliative medicine provides
treatment for symptoms even when the underlying disease cannot be cured.
The main goals are to relieve pain and other discomfort, and to reduce
stress. Palliative care also provides information to help a patient live
with serious physical illness. It considers emotional, social and spiritual
needs, as well. Our palliative care program treats the whole person, meeting
the patient's medical, emotional, spiritual, cultural and social needs.
Our Palliative Care Team will:
- Involve family and friends as requested by the patient
- Discuss treatment goals with the patient and requested family members
- Be flexible, allowing the patient to choose the appropriate treatments
- Provide care along with the patient’s physicians and nurses while
the patient is in the hospital
- Offer care alongside treatments that are meant to cure
- Involve a team of professionals, including a medical director, physician,
nurse, and board certified pastoral counselor.
The Objective of the Atlantic General Hospital Palliative Medicine program are to:
PROVIDE total active care for persons with advanced medical illness, especially
those with chronic and progressive life-limiting conditions.
HELP patients and their families live as fully and comfortably as possible
and to reach each patient’s goals for a good quality of life. Those
who live with serious illness may face some hard choices. It is a common
experience for people to seek out specialists for assistance as they consider
all available options. Experts from the AGH Palliative Care program are
available through a consult from the attending physician to help with
difficult decisions, including treatment options and end-of-life issues.
You, your family member or any of your health care professionals may ask
your physician to call the Palliative Care Consult Team at 410-629-6886
Elements of Palliative Medicine's Pain and Symptom Management
We believe that no one should be in unbearable pain. Our team will work
with the patient’s attending physician and nurses to assure that
pain is treated effectively and compassionately. We also provide treatment
recommendations for other troublesome symptoms such as nausea, restlessness
Our pastoral counselor provides spiritual support to our patients and/or
family members while they are coping with serious illness or end-of-life
issues. Pastoral care professionals provide spiritual services that respect
and honor the patient's cultural beliefs and rituals.
We strive to work with the patient and family in order to provide comfort,
dignity and the best possible quality of life.
Advance Care Planning
This plan enables the patient and caregiver to express, in advance, preferences
related to pain management, beneficial vs. non-beneficial treatments,
and other quality-of-life issues.
Our team works with a team of health professionals to assist the patient
and/or caregiver to identify and coordinate the elements of a palliative
Our team provides emotional support to the patient and/or family members
of the patient with serious chronic illness or with an end-stage, terminal
Palliative Medicine Consultation Services
Gail Mansell, Board Certified Pastoral Counselor & Team Director