[Care of the terminal patient]

An Sist Sanit Navar. 2007:30 Suppl 3:103-12. doi: 10.23938/ASSN.0205.
[Article in Spanish]


In the work of health professions there have always been those who believed that the important thing was to treat all the patients until the final consequences, but there are also those who have considered that the important thing was to treat the patient and when this was not possible, to care for him until the end. Amongst the latter was Cicely Saunders, founder of the Hospices movement. She believed that in the terminal phase of the disease, when there was an increase in the deterioration the patient was to suffer, which also had a great impact on the family and team treating him/her, the aim should change and be replaced by care as the only goal. That care should be redirected towards providing comfort to the patient and his/her family. Because in this phase each positive action carried out on one of them is taken as something that is also positive for the other. The health team must transform itself into a care team. Care as a means and the quality of life and comfort as an end are must be our aims as carers during the final phase of life, as announced by the European Sub-committee of Palliative Care of the EEC, May 5th 1991, when defining palliative care.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Palliative Care*
  • Terminal Care*