A Framework for Palliative Care


This consultation is now closed. 

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Health Canada has initiated a public consultation to collect input and ideas for the purpose of developing a framework on palliative care. This consultation will run for three months from May to July, 2018. During this time we will engage Canadians on themes like: advance care planning, person and family-centred care, access issues, special populations, health care provider training and supports, caregiver needs, and community engagement. Please bookmark this page and join us regularly. We hope that you join the discussion here, and then take it to your circle of family and friends. Palliative care will impact all of us at some point in our lives, so let’s start the conversation now.

“Access to palliative care is an important issue for many Canadians and these consultations are an important step in helping to improve Canadians’ access to services. We look forward to hearing views from across the country to help us develop a framework for palliative care in Canada.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Prior to participating in this consultation, please review the Privacy Notice for more information on your privacy rights.

Health Canada has initiated a public consultation to collect input and ideas for the purpose of developing a framework on palliative care. This consultation will run for three months from May to July, 2018. During this time we will engage Canadians on themes like: advance care planning, person and family-centred care, access issues, special populations, health care provider training and supports, caregiver needs, and community engagement. Please bookmark this page and join us regularly. We hope that you join the discussion here, and then take it to your circle of family and friends. Palliative care will impact all of us at some point in our lives, so let’s start the conversation now.

“Access to palliative care is an important issue for many Canadians and these consultations are an important step in helping to improve Canadians’ access to services. We look forward to hearing views from across the country to help us develop a framework for palliative care in Canada.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Prior to participating in this consultation, please review the Privacy Notice for more information on your privacy rights.

Tell your story

Share your palliative care story.

What went well and what could have improved the experience?

We are interested in hearing from everyone, including health care providers, people living with life-threatening illness, caregivers, family and friends, and others interested in this area.


Thank you for sharing your story, it will help to inform the development of a Framework for Palliative Care in Canada.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

  • Traumatic Impact & Stress While Loved One Dies Slowly & In Distress

    by @truedignity, almost 3 years ago

    The current policy at the hospital where my father in-law died gave him no choice but to suffer a slow starvation until his body gave out, which was extremely traumatic and stressful to his family members. No one should have to go through this, and I will advocate for changes to legislation so that people and their loved ones can truly have options to die with dignity and compassion. My father in-law fought lymphoma for about six to seven years, and in the last six months of his life, he was constantly fighting illnesses because of his compromised immune system... Continue reading

  • A good palliative care experience for myself and my husband

    by ShirleyE, almost 3 years ago

    I am writing to share my and my husbands experience with palliative care.  I was grateful that Saskatchewan has this service, and that it was available in the city we lived in.  My husband had congestive heart failure and diabetes.  Between the two his body was shutting down.  Our doctor started him as a palliative care patient with home care at first.  The home care workers and nurses would come and care for him at home, washing him, helping him dress for the day, and changing any dressings he had.  When his health got worse and he was admitted, it... Continue reading

  • Murray's story

    by mlhooker, almost 3 years ago

    My husband was a recipient of Palliative Care in Saskatchewan until he died July 12, 2016. 

    The entire journey through his diagnosis treatments and finally Palliative Care was exemplary. 

    No one wants to hear that they have a terminal illness.  A caring family physician gave him the bad news at his bedside telling him that he would not survive pancreatic cancer more than a few months or a couple of years depending on the course of treatment he chose.  He chose surgery ( Whipple ) which was a 12 hour ordeal but he survived it and after two weeks went... Continue reading

  • A Family Member

    by LMD, almost 3 years ago

    So many of the baby boomer generation are watching aging parents go into Palliative Care. I have had a mother and a father in law in palliative care and will be sitting by the bedside of my mother in law very soon.

    The kind and generous hearts of those who work in the industry are the back bone to the care. My mom had decided to go through the assisted suicide route as she was suffering terribly. She died before that action could be taken. Thank you to the kindness and compassion of the caregivers who surrounded her last days.

    ... Continue reading

  • Palliative Care for Young Adults

    by Closing the Gaps, almost 3 years ago

    I was the primary caregiver for my daughter, diagnosed late with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 23. She lost her life a few months later at 24. 

    Unfortunately, there was no communication during her treatment and hospital stay regarding early death or palliative care. We were not advised about end of life care options until the physicians stated that 'they could do nothing more for her in acute care.' 

    At this point she had lost her ability to speak following a course of radiation therapy. We were advised that she could be transferred to the palliative care ward... Continue reading

  • Grandmahazel

    by Grandmahazel, almost 3 years ago

    My mom was a trained hospice palliative care volunteer. She was the primary caregiver for my dad in his end of life journey with lung cancer. The majority of his end of life journey was in their home because of my mom. Six years later my mom was in her own end of life journey - also with cancer. Because of her knowledge and experience navigating the Alberta healthcare system, my mom was the main advocate and orchestrator of her own journey. She spent the last five weeks of her life in an amazing free-standing residential hospice where she was... Continue reading

  • Current palliative care patient

    by Currentpalliative , almost 3 years ago

    I was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer last year. Although I had radiation treatment to shrink the tumour, it was determined it’s too invasive to remove. The news, of course, was devastating. However, upon learning my diagnosis, I asked for a referral to palliative care. 

    I am not close to dying, although my life has been shortened. I am in my mid-forties, with a young family, so staying alive and comfortable for as long as possible is my main goal. 

    Choosing to enter palliative care early has enabled me to access pain control which, while not perfect, has helped symptoms... Continue reading

  • No Judgement

    by makeitso, almost 3 years ago

    My mother became very ill and within days was approaching her end of life.    She had lived her last five years in a care home due to her needs but was in the hospital for her last days.   While there she was in a room with 4 other much healthier people.  The small space assigned to her  became crowded very quickly by all the ones gathered around her.   She was also visited by a local pastor who would lead the family in prayers.  This was very awkward for us as we had 3 strangers observing, listening and also obviously feeling... Continue reading

  • Being Alive Is Not The Same As Living

    by Horse, almost 3 years ago

    I, like many before me, went into nursing to help comfort and heal.  My only goal was to bring one smile or laugh to a patient each and every day.  Now, after 34 years in critical care I have seen much effort in making people live longer, but it is a life of fear, confusion, pain and suffering. Physically, mentally and emotionally - for the patient, their family, and the staff.  Work is now, every day, a moral and ethical dilemma for staff.  People come to ER, are admitted, and wind up in the ICU.  They endure many invasive procedures... Continue reading

  • Palliative Care Navigation

    by pspragie, almost 3 years ago

    When her husband was diagnosed with breast cancer (yes, males do have breast cancer), a friend compared trying to find the right services,  at the right time as looking for a library book in a library with no card catalog and all the books scattered on the floor. At first he was told to get his affairs in order, that males usually lived for less than a year, but then through good fortune and knowledgeable friends, my friend got a referral for her husband  to a different oncologist. The treatment was essentially what we know of now as supportive care... Continue reading