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This poignant case illustrates some of the barriers to appropriate engagement of a palliative care team. The emergency medicine physician mistakenly equated palliative care with giving up hope. However, hope is not lost when we approach the limits of medical science’s capacity to cure disease and prolong life. Rather, that is the time we can give hope to the patient and family through palliative care, which focuses on quality-of-life needs, symptom control, psychological support, and caregiver support.
Covinsky KE. Palliative Care = Hope. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(1):14. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9309