Palliative care provides patients relief from the symptoms, pain, and stresses of a serious illness—whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family by caring for the body, mind, and spirit. A team of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, pharmacists, and chaplains, all with specialized training and experience in palliative medicine, work together with a patient's other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be offered along with curative treatment.
Led by James Tulsky, MD, specialists in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Palliative Medicine care for the whole person by addressing all sources of suffering, including physical, emotional, or psychological. They help patients clarify their priorities, communicate with their loved ones, and make important decisions that are aligned with their goals. Our Intensive Palliative Care Unit at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center delivers specialized palliative care for patients with cancer.