Palliative/End of Life

What’s the difference between palliative and hospice care?

Gabriela Kaplan is an oncology clinical nurse specialist at Trinitas Regional Medical Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She specializes in end-of-life care.

Here’s just a small part of her Medscape interview.

Palliative care

  • Care that accompanies the patient throughout their journey, “from diagnosis and hope for cure, to hospice and hope for care.”

Hospice care

  • An acknowledgment that the person has exhausted all medical treatments and has had enough.
  • The opposite of the aggressive or curative treatments used in conventional medicine.

The bottom line?

Nurse Kaplan concludes, “Palliative care is part of hospice care, but you don’t have to be dying to receive palliative care.”

It’s worth reading for anyone giving or receiving palliative or hospice care.

6/11/10 18:52 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.