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Key Points

This is an extremely common question, as both interventions are similar, with significant overlap.

Palliative care encompasses end of life care, but incorporates additional tools into the management of incurable or irreversible conditions.

As such palliative care helps to manage the progressive symptoms of the disease and is designed to provide an individual with an optimum quality of life for as long as possible. Holistic management is key, and can include psychological, social and spiritual support.

Palliative care is not just for the end of life and can begin earlier after diagnosis, working alongside other therapies.

End of life care is that portion of palliative care which usually begins when someone enters the last year of life.

It can encompass many of the aspects of palliative care, with an extra focus on helping individuals plan their final moments, make important decisions about emergency care, assist with legal matters and most importantly, allow a person to die with dignity.

A significant part of end of life care involves planning and discovering an individual's preferences, to ensure their final choices are respected.

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