The Division of Palliative Care, Department of Family Practice, Faculty of Medicine in the University of British Columbia, aims to ensure excellence in care of people living with advanced illness through research, community advocacy and education in undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate and public education.

Palliative care is committed to the relief of suffering, maximizing a person’s comfort, independence and quality of life when his or her illness is no longer amenable to cure. To honour this commitment of care, palliative care aims to provide “whole person care”, i.e. physical, psychological, cultural, social, existential and spiritual support to the dying and to the bereaved.

Note that early integration of palliative care into disease management has been shown to be more effective than when initiated late in the course of illness, and that early integration means that some patients who have palliative care needs may still have disease-management options with potential for cure or long-term survival. Modern palliative care therefore includes components of rehabilitation and transition to survivorship.