Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics

The Division’s Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics has a big presence at UPMC Presbyterian, UPMC Shadyside, and UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital. This section was established to provide inpatient and outpatient palliative care, which focuses on giving patients physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual comfort when their diseases are no longer responsive to curative treatments. This section provides comprehensive, coordinated services to terminally ill patients and their families, with emphasis on relief from pain and other disturbing symptoms such as delirium, fatigue, anorexia, depression, anxiety, and shortness of breath. Palliative Care and Medical Ethics provides a support system to help patients live as actively as possible until death and to help family members cope during their loved one’s illness and during bereavement.

This section is staffed by advanced practice providers, physicians, a pharmacist, and a psychologist—all of whom have expertise in palliative care and work closely with primary care providers, social workers, and case managers to coordinate care. Staff members also provide discussions about end-of-life issues and help to develop appropriate treatment and discharge plans for seriously ill patients.

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