The French law of 9 June 1999 guarantees the right of access to palliative care for all individuals. Palliative care is an end-of-life support system for people suffering from serious, progressive or terminal illnesses. They are intended to minimize pain or any other inconvenient symptoms resulting from the disease. Hospice palliative care does not only consists in improving the quality of life for the patient, but also for his or her suffering loved ones. Through palliative care, patients benefit from support and an understanding of the disease, or even their grief journey (as Yves Alphé explains).
On the other hand, palliative care does not deliberately cause death and is not synonymous with “end-of-life care”, contrary to what can be believed. Indeed, patients receiving this type of care can still live for a few years despite the onset of the disease, which is not the case for patients receiving end-of-life care.
Who participates to palliative care ?
Caregivers contribute to this process for both the patient and his or her relatives. In addition, volunteers are also present to perform several functions. They are trained and supervised by an association to accompany the patient in palliative and end-of-life care. This voluntary work is provided for in the above-mentioned Act of 1999 and the Public Health Code.
Where is palliative care provided?
This care can be provided both at home and in hospital. There are palliative care units, mobile palliative care teams, home support networks and other structures such as hospitalization at home, reminds us Yves Alphé.