Steve Pantilat

Why palliative care is essential in the face of serious illness

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About Steve Pantilat

Palliative care expert Steven Pantilat is a leader in transforming the healthcare system and creating innovative programs to improve the care and quality of life of people living with serious illness and their families. As the Kates-Burnard and Hellman Distinguished Professor in Palliative Care and the inaugural Chief of the Division of Palliative Medicine at UCSF, Steve has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and authored two dozen book chapters. Additionally, he is the author of Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patients and their Caregivers (2017) and was featured in End Game, a Netflix original documentary. The recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Steve is also the founding Director of the national Palliative Care Quality Network and director of UCSF’s Palliative Care Leadership Center.

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About This Talk

When dealing with a serious or terminal illness, palliative care physician and TEDMED 2018 speaker, Steve Pantilat reminds us that “even in the midst of chaos there is hope”.  However, this kind of hope is different than the hope that the person will recover or be cured. In fact, at a certain point, false hope may be detrimental.

As Steve asserts in his Talk, “In the end false hope is no hope because it’s not based in reality. And you might wonder, ‘Oh, what's the harm of a little false hope?...’ The harm is that we squander our time, that we pursue and accept treatments that are more likely to hurt than help. And most important that we miss the opportunity to achieve what is possible. We have to be in the realistic hope business—the true hope business.” Learn more in Steve's 2018 Talk, “Why palliative care is essential in the face of serious illness”.

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