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Palliative Care

Palliative care is a type of specialized health care for patients and families facing life-limiting illness, and advanced stage chronic kidney disease is one such illness.

Palliative care* is a type of specialized health care for patients and families facing life-limiting illness, and advanced stage chronic kidney disease is one such illness.

Palliative care helps patients achieve the best possible quality of life right up until the end of life.

Quality palliative care encompasses the following:

  • focuses on the concerns, hopes, and fears of patients and their families (what matters most)
  • pays close attention to physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, loss of appetite, confusion
  • considers the emotional and spiritual concerns of patients and families
  • ensures that care is respectful and supportive of patient dignity and autonomy 
  • respects the social and cultural needs of families
  • uses a multi-disciplinary approach that may include social workers, spiritual leaders, pharmacists, dieticians, nurses and physicians

Palliative care does not necessarily end when someone has died.  Family members may need support as they grieve the loss of a loved one.  Bereavement programs are often part of comprehensive palliative care.

*Adopted from: Canadian Virtual Hospice

Having an advance care plan (ACP) for end of life decision making is important for everyone, regardless of their current health condition. 

Those with an ACP are more likely to be satisfied with their care, will require fewer aggressive interventions at the end of life and are more likely to take advantage of hospice resources or die at home.

Today, there are more ACP resources available for patients than ever before: 


The BC renal care community has developed a comprehensive end of life framework to support the delivery of high quality care for people with kidney disease in the last years, months, or days of their lives. The agency has also prioritized the advance care planning process as an essential part of renal care – at every level. 

The BC Renal Agency has produced a video guide that can help patients understand and prepare for this process. Click here for a detailed video guide.

BC Government: 

The Government of BC’s Advance Care Planning page includes:

  • Steps on how to create an advance care plan
  • The advance care planning guide “My Voice: Expressing My Wishes for Future Health Care Treatment” (available in English, Punjabi, and Simplified Chinese)
  • Videos and brochures
  • Information on legislation
  • Links to local resources in each health authority

National Resources: 

The "Speak Up" campaign kit consists of several resources and tools.

Conservative care for a renal patient means choosing not to do dialysis and not to have a kidney transplant. Talk to your renal care provider before you decide if conservative care is the right option for you.

BCPRA's Modality Choices Presentation can provide additional information on conservative care.

Fraser Health Information on advance care planning & hospice palliative care symptom guidelines

Vancouver Coastal Health In the search box type in "advance care planning", "palliative care", "end of life care", or "advance directive" for a variety of options.

Providence Health Care Information on palliative and hospice care.

Vancouver Island Health Information on advance directives. Victoria Hospice's palliative care education.

Interior Health A repository of information on palliative care, including advance care planning.

Northern Health Information on end-of-life/palliative and hospice care. Information on advance care planning and related topics.

BC Children's Hospital To view a variety of pamphlets on grief and palliative care that includes symptom management, see the online A - Z pamphlets section of the Family Resource Library.
Canuck Place Children's Hospice: Offers a variety of child and family support resources. 

BC Hospice & Palliative Care Association Collection of information and local, provincial and national resources related to palliative and hospice care.


Materials in this section are under development and will be available soon.


SOURCE: Palliative Care ( )
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