WINDSOR TERRACE — Catholic Church teaching, like many other religious traditions, prohibits assisted suicide. The church encourages natural, humane options of caring for patients in the final stages of life — including palliative and hospice care.
Palliative care is designed to relieve symptoms of advanced disease in a patient who has a prognosis of greater than six months to live. It is provided along with other forms of treatment, when the patient and the patient’s family are not ready to forego life-prolonging therapy.
Hospice is a type of end-of-life care for patients with a prognosis of six months or less. The treatments are focused on the relief of symptoms and not aimed at prolonging the patient’s life. The goal is to provide comfort.
“Palliative care, hospice, giving care to the person who’s dying, keeping them as comfortable as possible, alleviating pain with medication — all that is permissible,” said Father Charles Caccavale, a priest from the Diocese of Brooklyn who teaches moral theology at St. Joseph Seminary and College.
Both palliative care and hospice care are offered in a hospital setting or at home depending on the needs of the patient. The Diocese of Brooklyn has several chaplains who are trained in palliative and hospice care and who work in the field, according to Deacon Julio Barreneche, secretary for clergy personnel.
WHERE TO FIND ASSISTANCE NEAR YOU
- Calvary Hospital includes palliative and hospice care. It has a Bronx campus at 1740 Eastchester Road, as well as a Brooklyn hospital located within NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn at 150 55th St.
- Calvary also provides end-of-life care at the Dawn Greene Hospice for residents of the Mary Manning Walsh Home at 1339 York Ave. in Manhattan and at Ozanam Hall at the Queens Nursing Home at 42-41 201st St. in Queens. For more information on these Calvary Hospital programs, call 718-518-2000.
- Calvary@Home is available to patients who would rather receive care in the comfort of their homes. Call 718-518-2465 to learn more.
- The Visiting Nurse Service of New York provides palliative and hospice services, including specialized hospice programs for cardiac patients, COPD patients, and military veterans. Call 212-609-1900 for information.
- Maimonides Medical Center has a team of chaplains offering assistance to patients facing end-of-life decisions. For information, call 718-283-2665.