What is palliative care?

NowRecharging.com/resources (includes a printable version of this comic!)

I’m not a medical professional, just someone who believes palliative care is a very important topic.

People are often afraid of the word “palliative” because it’s heavily associated with terminal illnesses, and by extension not only with death but also with failure or defeat – that accepting palliative care means accepting “the illness has won”. I think it’s really important to raise awareness, to change that perspective, and to increase support and services in this area. Palliative care is a kind of care and a philosophy that can make a huge difference to a lot of people.

I’d also like to take the opportunity to give a shoutout to the amazing Philip Aziz Centre and Emily’s House. They’re a Toronto-based palliative care organization with the city’s first – and so far, only – children’s hospice, and a simply incredible team of dedicated staff and volunteers. They are some of the loveliest people I have ever had the honour of getting to know. I would also never have had the confidence to draw this comic if it weren’t for them (thank you Amanda Maragos!!).

If you ever have the chance to learn more about palliative care, to participate in a course or a workshop on it, or to volunteer in this field, it’s an opportunity very much worth taking. The perspective and tools you gain are both humbling and truly enrich your sense of life and living.

And if it’s an option for you, please consider donating to support a palliative care organization. It’s honestly mind-blowing how much they do with what they have. If the palliative care philosophy and approach could become more well-known and available to everyone who needs it, that would be such a wonderful thing!