Integrating Palliative Care into the Treatment of Serious Illness

Christopher W. Lawton, Diane E. Meier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In her ongoing commitment to the dignity of the human person, the Catholic Church calls for the accompaniment of those who are suffering with serious illness until the very end of life. Palliative care finds perfect union with the Church in this mission through its work to promote quality of life and alleviation of suffering simultaneously with all other therapies. Yet, integrating palliative care into our approach to serious illness is challenged by a host of factors. These include historical and cultural trends that have affected our conception of mortality and the ends of medicine, a lack of education about palliative care and its benefits, and the emotional hurdles that patients, families and providers face when confronting serious illness and the prospect of death. Today there are great strides being made to advance the work of the field, to overcome these challenges and to ensure high quality care for all. The expansion of palliative care services, educational initiatives and ongoing policy efforts have and will continue to play key roles in ensuring the delivery of such care. The Church in her commitment to the needs of the most vulnerable among us remains an important partner in this effort.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Medicine
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NamePhilosophy and Medicine
ISSN (Print)0376-7418
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0080


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