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D. Training Health Care Professionals to Start Palliative Care Programs

Narrator: This is Science Today. The University of California, San Francisco has been named one of six leadership centers in the country for training health care professionals who want to start palliative care programs. Steve Pantilat, director of UC San Francisco's palliative care service, says while end-of-life care is growing, not many hospitals offer this service to patients.

Pantilat: When we ask people, what's important to you at the end of life, what families and patients tell us is that they want their symptoms palliated -they don't want to be in pain and they don't want to suffer. They want to talk about illness and death with their doctors and nurses. And they want support.

Narrator: The goal of these palliative care leadership centers is to offer hospitals the expertise, technical assistance and skills necessary to offer this type of end-of-life care.

Pantilat: One thing that I try to teach also is, never say to somebody, "there's nothing more we can do". There's always something to do. It may not involve curing a disease, but there's always something to do to relieve someone's symptoms.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.