Supportive and Palliative Care Services

Supportive/palliative care is the complete care of a child and family facing a life-threatening illness, regardless of the current disease status. Prognostic uncertainty, and not the likelihood of survival, should determine the need for supportive/palliative care.

The Supportive Care Team can provide:

  • Services delivered via an interdisciplinary team approach, in concert with all the members of the cancer care team
  • Assistance with exploration of short- and long-term goals of care through shared decision-making with the patient and family, in order to help guide management and decision-making at various points in the disease journey
  • Physician and nursing expertise in pain and symptom management at any point in the patient’s treatment. This may be particularly helpful in end-of-life care, both in the inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Chaplaincy and other services to address spiritual care effectively, both for the patient (in a developmentally appropriate fashion) and the family
  • A smooth, patient- and family-focused transition to end-of-life care, through facilitation of end-of-life discussions with a focus on reframing hope and decision-making in light of changes in prognosis
  • Medical and psychosocial guidance regarding hospice care in hospital or at home, or at the formal Hospice Home facility
  • Ongoing grief and bereavement support services for the parents, other caretakers (grandparents), and siblings