The Importance of Palliative Care for the Dying Patient Essay

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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” (http://www.WebMD.com). 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,…show more content…
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” (http://www.WebMD.com). 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 palliative care lived 2.7 months longer than the patients who only received standard care (www.http://www.WebMD.com). They stated that it could be “due to more effective treatment of depression, better management of symptoms, or less need for hospitalization” (http://www.Web MD.com). This study is a great tool to show how important the treatment for relief or
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