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.

  • My Husband

    by Billy, almost 3 years ago

    It took several months to diagnose my husband's cancer as he also had vascular dementia with mild to moderate cognitive impairment & initially when he began to have difficulty speaking & swallowing the problem was thought to be neurological. By the time his cancer was diagnosed it had already spread to both left & right lymph nodes in his neck. When we met with the radiation oncologist we were told he could cure my husband with massive doses of radiation & any side effects were very much minimized. There was no discussion of palliative treatment.

    My husband suffered without complaint... Continue reading

  • A family member and also a health care provider

    by alliedhealthworker, almost 3 years ago

    A little about me: I'm an allied health provider that works in long term care/palliative care at an academic teaching hospital. Despite being in an area that might be considered "resource rich" there are still some barriers to quality palliative/end-of-life care related to knowledge, education, skills, etc. There is limited academic preparation for allied health providers in the area of palliative care. As such, I've taken it upon myself to try to improve the state of palliative care in my own little corner of the world and as best I can. I've been fortunate in having opportunities (and support) to... Continue reading

  • My Dad

    by cat5910, almost 3 years ago

    My Dad passed away a number of years ago from cancer, which was in his brain and blood. Dad started getting headaches in September and by June he passed away. There wasn't any aggressive treatment; by the time the cancer was discovered it was too late. Essentially, pain management was the treatment. Lots of trips to the ER and hospitals. I clearly remember how tired Mom was and how tired I was from the hospital visits and the running back and forth to the doctors, etc. A few times we had to admit Dad to our local community hospital which... Continue reading

  • My beautiful Wife Nicole

    by jtcollins, about 3 years ago

    My wife Nicole was diagnosed with stage 3-4 Brain Cancer in 2013. She fought a hard battle, which included surgery, radiation, and chemo therapy. She was able to fight for 3 years, until the cancer became very aggressive and took her life May 2016, she was 35. Before she passed, she spent a little over a month in the Palliative Care Unit in Lloydminster, SK. where the staff there were excellent! The atmosphere was amazing and all staff did what they could to make her feel comfortable and loved knowing that her time was coming. For the most part the... Continue reading

  • A Bomb Goes Off...

    by Legion, about 3 years ago

    After a two year struggle with triple-negative breast cancer, my wife - then 32 - was referred to the palliative ward at the Grey Nuns hospital in Edmonton. She had been admitted to Emergency a few days before with pleural effusion and difficulty breathing due to the many metastases in her lungs. We both knew that she would someday wind up in Unit43, but the sting of those words hit us both. The doctors were very kind, patient, and understanding. The first doc explained that the goal was not to keep her there until the end, but to relieve her... Continue reading

  • That was Then... This is Now

    by Whatodonow?, about 3 years ago

    My dad says to me, as I reach down to tie up his shoes, “Bet you didn’t think you would ever have to tie my shoes, help me to the bathroom, or sit with me by my hospital bed?”  (That was the evening when the ambulance took dad to the hospital after he had a fall in his room at the Senior home – slicing his ear open and fracturing his pelvis)

    I say, “No, dad – I always thought you and mom would be around forever and never get old.”

    My parents always were there.  “Watch the speed limit!”... Continue reading

  • Therapy Dog visits

    by utopia52, about 3 years ago

    Our yellow Lab (Madi) and I have been a pet therapy team with St John Ambulance for almost 7 years visiting nursing homes, hospitals & schools. When we go to our local hospital, we always make a point to spend time in the palliative care section (although palliative care patients could be anywhere in the hospital, the is one section primarily dedicated to that level). The reaction and acceptance of our visits is amazing. Occasionally a person may be too ill, under quarantine or just not a dog lover but those who we are able to spend time with, truly... Continue reading

  • Inadequate at best

    by FJET, about 3 years ago

    Palliative care in inadequate. A friend was in need of it, but there were only four rooms in the hospital dedicated to palliative care.  If a room became available he would not be transferred because he was on the wrong floor.  The closest palliative care facility was too far away. The palliative care doctor in hospital said "If he goes into distress I will give him a cocktail of drugs from which he will not recover." Sounds like something else other than palliative care.

  • 65 I'll Decide

    by 65 I'll Decide, about 3 years ago

    65 I'll Decide!

    How difficult is it to discuss goals of wellness and advanced care planning, when already late in life, or when acute sickness, chronic health issues or mental frailty occupy the centre stage of the persons life?

    What if at age 65 every Canadian was obliged to start and document their first advanced care plan? What if each Canadian's wellness goals, pension age and advanced care planning we're mandated to intersect at age 65?

    How different would we grow older as individuals, if just as there are... Continue reading

  • What is Palliative Care?

    by valoriem, about 3 years ago

    As a palliative care provider, I tell my patients that palliative care is NOT just about end of life.  Palliative care is about understanding patient and family goals - what's important to them.  Is it about prolonging life?  At what cost?  Is it about spending quality time with family members?  Is about remaining independent as long as possible?

    The other most important piece is making sure the patients have a clear understanding of what their disease is, what their treatment options are and the realistic outcomes to expect from those treatment options.

    Once we understand what those goals are, further... Continue reading