They are focused on patients suffering from an incurable illness (patient focused > disease focused) and their family members.
They aim to improve the quality of life, treat pain and other symptoms, and comprehensively manage suffering by integrating the physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects (care > cure).
They offer a coordinated network of specialised and interdisciplinary care.
Yhey emphasise communication respectful of the philosophical and cultural values of the person and respect for ethical values (dignity, autonomy, etc.).
They are integrated into healthcare with the idea of a continuum. Continuing care is not limited to the terminal phase, but takes into account that the end of life constitutes an important constituent of this type of care.
They take into account that the end-of-life process is not just a medical event, but a human event potentially promoting personal growth.