Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics

For Health Care Providers

The goal of palliative care is to help patients achieve the best possible quality of life through relief of suffering, control of symptoms, and restoration of functional capacity while remaining sensitive to the values of the patient and family. Palliative care affirms life and views dying as a natural process that is a profoundly personal experience for the patient and their family. You can help guide the patient and their family as they face disease progression and help those who wish to address issues of life feel a sense of completion and closure. The palliative care team supports the attending physician and other health care providers. They do not replace the patient’s established health care team.

The team consists of a nurse practitioner, physician, pharmacist, and psychologist, all of whom have special expertise in palliative care. They provide:

  • Management of symptoms, including pain, nausea, shortness of breath, anorexia, and delirium
  • Negotiation of the goal of treatment and end-of-life decision making
  • Psychological or spiritual counseling for the patient and family
  • Discussions with social workers, chaplains from all faiths, and dietitians
  • Discharge planning and interface with hospices
  • Bereavement services


If you would like additional information, please call 412-692-4834 or e-mail Dr. Robert Arnold at

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