Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life

Health Care Decisions Day - April 16

Making decisions for a loved one who is unable to do so for themselves can be agonizing, but advance planning and understanding of a loved one’s wishes can bring peace of mind.

Advance care planning includes completing an advance directive, or living will, and appointing a health care power of attorney to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself.

National Health Care Decisions Day is recognized each year on April 16 to encourage people to think about their personal wishes for their health care, particularly at the end of life, with the goal of getting people to plan ahead, document those plans and let loved ones know their wishes.

The Nevada Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life was created, in part, to encourage patients to initiate or review their wishes for care in serious illness with their health care providers and to consider who would speak for them if they are unable to speak for themselves with the goal of completing the written documentation to formalize those choices. Nevada health care providers and facilities are encouraged to use Health Care Decisions Day as an opportunity to pause and think about their patients’ health care wishes and to take action to make sure those wishes are known, even if patients are unable to direct their own care.

The Palliative Care Council has compiled a list of resources below for additional information on this important topic.

General information

Palliative care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care for people with serious illness. This type of care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family.

Palliative care is provided by a specially trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with the treatment to cure the illness.

Advisory Council Background

The State of Nevada Advisory Council on Palliative Care and Quality of Life was added to Nevada law according to legislation passed in 2017. The council is to work with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to establish an information and education program and to assess the availability of patient-centered palliative care in Nevada. 

Senate Bill 136, which created the council, required DHHS to encourage hospitals, assisted living facilities, and facilities for skilled nursing with 100 beds or more to educate their physicians, nurses, and clinical staff members regarding palliative care; identify barriers to access to palliative care in Nevada; and to provide information and resources to patients or residents regarding palliative care. The council continues this mission.

About Palliative Care

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Palliative Care: YOU Are a BRIDGE. This video animation compares palliative care to the foundation of a bridge. While illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides a stronger layer of support.