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Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

The CHPCA is the national voice for Hospice Palliative Care in Canada. Advancing and advocating for quality end-of-life/hospice palliative care in Canada, its work includes public policy, public education and awareness. Established in 1991, its volunteer Board of Directors is composed of hospice palliative care workers and volunteers from Canadian provinces and territories as well as members-at-large.

What is Hospice Palliative Care?

The following definition was taken from the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Norms of Practice following extensive national consultation. 

Hospice palliative care aims to relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying.

Hospice palliative care strives to help patients and families:

  • address physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues, and their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fear.

  • prepare for and manage self-determined life closure and the dying process

  • Cope with loss and grief during the illness and bereavement.


Hospice palliative care aims to:

  • treat all active issues

  • prevent new issues from occurring

  • Promote opportunities for meaningful and valuable experiences, personal and spiritual growth, and self-actualization.


Hospice palliative care is appropriate for any patient and/or family living with, or at risk of developing, a life-threatening illness due to any diagnosis, with any prognosis, regardless of age, and at any time they have unmet expectations and/or needs, and are prepared to accept care.

Hospice palliative care may complement and enhance disease-modifying therapy or it may become the total focus of care.

Hospice palliative care is most effectively delivered by an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers who are both knowledgeable and skilled in all aspects of the caring process related to their discipline of practice. These providers are typically trained by schools or organizations that are governed by educational standards. Once licensed, providers are accountable to standards of professional conduct that are set by licensing bodies and/or professional associations.

A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care
© Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, Ottawa, Canada, 2002.

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