Palliative Medicine

What is Palliative Medicine?

Palliative medicine is supportive care for people with advanced illness. “Palliate” means to ease. The focus of palliative medicine is to ease suffering that results from illness. Palliative medicine provides treatment for symptoms even when the underlying disease cannot be cured. The main goals are to relieve pain and other discomfort, and to reduce stress. Palliative care also provides information to help a patient live with serious physical illness. It considers emotional, social and spiritual needs, as well. Our palliative care program treats the whole person, meeting the patient's medical, emotional, spiritual, cultural and social needs. Our Palliative Care Team will:

  • Involve family and friends as requested by the patient
  • Discuss treatment goals with the patient and requested family members
  • Be flexible, allowing the patient to choose the appropriate treatments and therapies
  • Provide care along with the patient’s physicians and nurses while the patient is in the hospital
  • Offer care alongside treatments that are meant to cure
  • Involve a team of professionals, including a medical director, physician, nurse, and board certified pastoral counselor.
The Objective of the Atlantic General Hospital Palliative Medicine program are to:

PROVIDE total active care for persons with advanced medical illness, especially those with chronic and progressive life-limiting conditions.

HELP patients and their families live as fully and comfortably as possible and to reach each patient’s goals for a good quality of life. Those who live with serious illness may face some hard choices. It is a common experience for people to seek out specialists for assistance as they consider all available options. Experts from the AGH Palliative Care program are available through a consult from the attending physician to help with difficult decisions, including treatment options and end-of-life issues. You, your family member or any of your health care professionals may ask your physician to call the Palliative Care Consult Team at 410-629-6886 or 410-641-1100.

Elements of Palliative Medicine's Pain and Symptom Management

We believe that no one should be in unbearable pain. Our team will work with the patient’s attending physician and nurses to assure that pain is treated effectively and compassionately. We also provide treatment recommendations for other troublesome symptoms such as nausea, restlessness and anxiety.

Spiritual Care

Our pastoral counselor provides spiritual support to our patients and/or family members while they are coping with serious illness or end-of-life issues. Pastoral care professionals provide spiritual services that respect and honor the patient's cultural beliefs and rituals.


We strive to work with the patient and family in order to provide comfort, dignity and the best possible quality of life.

Advance Care Planning

This plan enables the patient and caregiver to express, in advance, preferences related to pain management, beneficial vs. non-beneficial treatments, and other quality-of-life issues.

Care Coordination

Our team works with a team of health professionals to assist the patient and/or caregiver to identify and coordinate the elements of a palliative care plan.

Emotional Support

Our team provides emotional support to the patient and/or family members of the patient with serious chronic illness or with an end-stage, terminal disease diagnosis.

Palliative Medicine Consultation Services
Gail Mansell, Board Certified Pastoral Counselor & Team Director