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Meritus Health
  Palliative Care Services



At Meritus Medical Center we are dedicated to providing patient care with an emphasis on acknowledging the individual’s wishes for treatment, regardless of prognosis or illness stage.

Palliative care is designed to help ease the transition from a curative treatment mode to a comfort treatment mode when a chronic or terminal disease has been diagnosed. It is a philosophy of care that promotes an enhanced quality of living and dying.

By respecting patients’ wishes for treatment, aggressively managing painful or distressing symptoms, and honoring decision-making based on sound information, Palliative Care Services provides patients and their network of family and friends an opportunity to make the most of their time.

Chronic diseases have a progressive nature, resulting in increases of disease severity, signs, or symptoms. Through interdisciplinary planning, chronic diseases can become less stressful as symptom management becomes a priority. By using the expertise of other specialists—including social workers, pain specialists, chaplains, and nurses—Palliative Care Services can adopt a plan of care to treat the whole person, not just the illness. This advanced care planning is an integral part of palliative care. 

Advanced care planning often consists of conversations about emotional and spiritual issues. A palliative care specialist, social worker, or patient advocate is available to assist with these sometimes difficult conversations and advanced care planning overall in a calm and objective manner. A specialist can help with the process of naming a healthcare agent—the person who will make decisions for the patient when the patient can no longer do so. Specialists also can assist the health care agent with initiating discussions about preferences for treatment to ensure patient wishes are honored.

Palliative care at Meritus Medical Center is founded on the belief that providing people with the information they need to help facilitate decision-making is a basic foundation of healthcare and caregiving. By providing information and emotional support throughout the decision-making process, we help patients and their families become actively involved in their healthcare, leading to greater patient and family satisfaction and an improved quality of life.


© 2010
Meritus Health
11116 Medical Campus Road
Hagerstown, MD 21742

TDD: 1-800-735-2258
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