Palliative care, advance directive

Our research focuses on the promotion of palliative and end-of-life care, especially advance care planning and advance directives, targeting on cancer patients, pediatric patients, older adults and the general public.

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of individuals and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, by preventing or relieving suffering through early identification and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual. People receiving palliative care often experience spiritual distress, which is defined as the impaired ability to experience and integrate meaning and purpose in life. It may be manifested as fear, nervousness, anxiety, hopelessness, suicidal thought, depression or despair.

Patients are sometimes kept alive when they would prefer to die in peace, dignity, and comfort. For example, the application of mechanical ventilation during the advanced stage of a critical illness may extend a patient’s lifespan, but it may also prolong their suffering. Healthcare professionals often face difficult dilemmas in determining treatment choices for the very ill patients or those lacking the capacity to communicate treatment choices and without any previous evidence of their wishes. Personal preferences of end-of-life decisions can be communicated in the form of written statements, known as advance directives (AD), concerning any healthcare decisions that may be required in the future when individuals have lost the capacity to make such decisions. The AD concept is largely derived from the principle of informed consent and a belief in personal autonomy regarding healthcare decisions.

Carmen Chan
Learn More

Professor CHAN YIP Wing Han, Carmen

Gigi Ling
Learn More

Ms. LING Cheuk Chi, Gigi

Helen Chan
Learn More

Professor CHAN Yue Lai, Helen

Marques Ng
Learn More

Professor NG Shek Nam, Marques

IN THIS SECTION

Research and Studies
Research and Studies
Education
Education
Video
Publications
Publications