Definitions of Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Quote from Dr. Tamara Shearer (author of Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care, an issue of Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice; Preface "The role of the veterinarian in hospice and palliative care" xi):

"Introducing palliative and hospice care as a recognized field of veterianry medicine will help to better serve pets with serious illness. The term hospice comes from the Latin word hospitium, which means to host. Hospice is defined as a facility or program designed to provide a caring environment for supplying the physical and emotional needs of the terminally ill. The term palliate comes from the Latin word palliare, which means to cloak or conceal. Palliate refers to alleviating symptoms without curing the underlying medical condition. Palliative care in veterinary medicine addresses the treatment of pain and other symptoms to achieve the best quality of life regardless of disease outcome. It helps families to understand the disease process and to make decisions. Palliative care also helps support the families emotionally. Hospice is a specialized form of palliative care. It focuses on caring for patients that are in the end stages of terminal illness. Hospice care is an extension of palliative care that tends to patients that are nearing death. The foundation of both disciplines relies upon a philosophy of care."