Neuropalliative Care: An Introduction

  • Claire J. CreutzfeldtEmail author
  • Benzi M. Kluger
  • Robert G. Holloway


Fifty years ago, Dame Cicely Saunders started the hospice movement emphasizing that there is so much more to be done, when patients with cancer and other terminal illnesses were being told there was nothing more. By easing symptom burden, by giving dying patients the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ to family and friends, by improving the quality rather than the quantity of life, and by not ‘giving up’ on dying patients, the hospice movement revolutionized end-of-life care. Palliative care is a philosophy of care for patients with serious illness and their families that was born with the hospice movement, with the difference that palliative care is not limited to patients nearing the end of life, but is appropriate at any age, stage of illness, or prognosis. Palliative care is now revolutionizing medical care by placing a central focus on helping patients and their families lead a good life across the continuum of the disease, from the time of diagnosis until death. Focused on improving communication about goals of care and maximizing comfort and quality of life, palliative care is both a medical subspecialty as well as an approach to medical care that can and should be incorporated into the care of all patients with serious illness.


Neuropalliative care Palliative care approach Illness trajectories Serious illness conversation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire J. Creutzfeldt
    • 1
    Email author
  • Benzi M. Kluger
    • 2
  • Robert G. Holloway
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Washington Harborview Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Rochester Medical CenterRochesterUSA

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