Palliative Care, Toward a More Responsive Definition

  • Eric L. KrakauerEmail author
Reference work entry


The World Health Organization (WHO) definition of palliative care requires clarification. While it has been interpreted as limiting its purview to people facing life-threatening illness, this definition makes little sense in low- and middle-income countries where the means to prevent and relieve any suffering are limited, including in people without a life-threatening illness. The most basic principle of palliative care, prevention and relief of suffering, requires that palliative care conform to the needs of the people it serves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Palliative Care, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Palliative Care and GeriatricsMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Palliative Care, University of Medicine and PharmacyHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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