Background To which different questions and needs does the role of the psychologist and the clinical ethicist attempt to reply in a Hospice – Palliative Care clinical setting?
This contribution intends to investigate the contact and divergence points between the psychological intervention and the ethical consultation, starting from an analysis of the different competences and evaluating the aspects of a possible convergence, in a Hospice – Palliative Care Unit.
Methods A review of the existing literature and a presentation of the clinical cases occurred in a Palliative Care – Hospice Units were performed.
Results These two figures can improve the quality of the therapeutic intervention. They can work related in a different and complementary way, responding to different but essential questions and needs for a high quality of care.
Discussion The different methods are compared to provide a good answer to specific issues related to the end of life. The psychological intervention is primarily oriented to understand which are the most appropriate actions to create the conditions to control the fear of death. Regarding the ethics consultation, the most relevant aspect concerns the research of a method to analyse the choices in relation to the end of life, crossing the monitored fear of the death.
Conclusion The presence of both the professionals is considered necessary during the patient’s care in the Palliative care – Hospice Unit. Moreover, the two disciplines seem to be able to coexist and to complement each other and with other subjects of the healthcare team.
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