Palliative care helps patients with serious illness live as well as possible during their illness and provides compassionate care to relieve the range of physical and emotional symptoms that often accompany serious illness or the side effects of treatment. Although palliative medicine is a newly-named specialty in medicine, the idea behind it is far from new. Palliative care focuses on attending to the needs of the whole person — physically, psychologically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

Hospice and Palliative Care Resources

The Catholic Health Association has developed resources to help share important information about Hospice and Palliative Care.


New Resource!

Sharing Your Health Care Wishes
This new resource for advance directives helps you consider your preferences for medical treatments prior to a serious illness or injury and to express your wishes for your health care treatment in an advance directive in case you are unable to communicate your wishes on your own.

The new publication is part of a series of resources from CHA that also includes the updated and refreshed palliative and hospice care publication, "Living Well with Serious Illness." Created in collaboration with physicians, nurses, theologians and ethicists within Catholic health care, the resources are designed to help people of all ages, backgrounds, religious traditions and beliefs make important decisions about serious illness and end-of-life care.

Order in the CHA Store
» Download PDF: English  |  Spanish


New Resource!

Living Well with Serious Illness
The Catholic Health Association developed this updated and refreshed guide to learn about the range of support that is available to patients and families to help them live as well as possible during serious illness. It is part of a series of publications that was created in collaboration with physicians, nurses, theologians, and ethicists within Catholic health care to help people of all ages, backgrounds, religious traditions and beliefs make important decisions about serious illness and end-of-life care.

Order in the CHA Store
» Download PDF: English  |  Spanish


End-of-Life Ethics Guide

This ethics publications, available in English and Spanish, is designed to help patients, families and caregivers think about end-of-life decisions through the lens of Catholic teachings. CHA developed this guide in collaboration with physicians, nurses, theologians, and ethicists within Catholic health care. Although a reflection of the perspective of Catholic tradition, the information is helpful to persons from any religious tradition.

Teachings of the Catholic Church: Caring for People at the End of Life
Download the PDF (English | Spanish)
Order in the CHA Store

CHA Podcast: Understanding Palliative Care

Partner Organizations

CHA works with the following organizations to promote high quality palliative care for all who need it.

Circle of Life Award honors innovative palliative and end-of-life care in hospices, hospitals, health care systems, long-term care facilities, and other direct care providers.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness - The Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness fosters ongoing dialogue about improving care for people of all ages facing all stages of serious illness in five primary subject areas: delivery of person-centered, family-oriented care; communication and advance care planning; professional education and development; policies and payment systems; and public education and engagement.

Patient Quality of Life Coalition represents over 40 organizations dedicated to improving quality of care and quality of life for these patients – from pediatrics to geriatrics – and to advancing public policies that improve and expand access to palliative care and appropriate pain management for these individuals.

Whole Person Care Initiative is a national partnership to develop quality palliative care programs that support and accompany the chronically and terminally ill in both clinical and parish settings.

Other Resources

Archdiocese of Boston Initiative for Palliative Care provides education, outreach and advocacy to create an informed public about palliative care, including support and education about Advance Care Planning, which allows people to discuss and make known their wishes for care in anticipation of a time when they cannot speak for themselves. Center to Advance Palliative Care provides tools, training, technical assistance, and metrics needed to build and sustain palliative care in all health care settings. Communication Skills Pathfinders – a web portal designed to connect all clinicians who care for seriously ill patients to easily access, proven communications skills training. This resource was developed by a collaboration of  Ariadne Labs; the Center to Advance Palliative Care, and VitalTalk.

CSU Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care

Institute for Human Caring, Providence St. Joseph Health

National Association of Catholic Chaplains along with Board Chaplaincy Certification, Inc. offers an advanced certification in palliative care and hospice.

National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care was founded in 2001 by the leading hospice and palliative care organizations to better communicate, coordinate, and collaborate on issues and activities of importance to the interdisciplinary hospice and palliative care field. National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is the nation's largest membership organization for providers and professionals who care for people affected by serious and life-limiting illness. Their companion website CaringInfo.org provides free resources to educate and empower patients and caregivers to make decisions about serious illness and end-of-life care and services. Diversity Resource Guides NASHP Resource Hub: State Strategies to Address Palliative Care - Tools and resources to help states advance palliative care. Palliative Care, Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm

Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin Pontifical Academy for Life, PALLIFE Project is an international study group with the purpose of supporting the academy in its initiatives to promote palliative care throughout the world.