Palliative Care Program Committee

To represent the interests of all CFPC members providing Palliative Care, including those for whom this is part of their broad scope family practice and those with a special interest or focused practice.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at [email protected].

This page contains relevant College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) material, web resources, papers and clinical practice guidelines for physicians who have a special interest in Palliative Care.

Disclaimer:  Most of the materials on this site have come from external sources. The CFPC is not responsible for the accuracy, reliability of application of these materials. Users wishing to verify this information should consult directly with the identified sources. The information on this site does not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the CFPC.

CFPC members interested in receiving the full publication of any of the following articles are asked to contact our Information Specialist at [email protected].

View the list of relevant palliative care articles in Canadian Family Physician

Resources by topic

Advance care planning

Speak Up – Advance Care Planning contains information about advance care planning, and includes links to workbooks and resources for health care professionals as well as patients and their families.

This Changed My Practice: Serious illness conversations and capturing advance care planning is an article from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine: This Changed My Practice (UBC CPD) website,  by Dr. Charlie Chen and Dr. Hayden Rubensohn.

We're bad at death. Can we talk? is an article from The New York Times by Dhruv Khullar.

The website provides a free, not-for-profit app that helps you record video messages for family and friends to have after your death. 

Guidelines and clinical tools

Canadian Virtual Hospice – Practitioner Resources. Information and support on pallative and end-of-life care, loss and grief.

Cancer Care Ontario is the Ontario government's advisor for cancer and renal systems provides information about clinical practice guidelines and protocols for practitioners. You can find useful guides in Palliative Care Tools, as well as in Symptom Assessment and Management Tools, in the CCO Toolbox section.

The BC Guidelines are primarily intended for use by physicians, nurse practitioners, and medical students in British Columbia. Other health care professionals and educators may also find them to be useful resources. You can find palliative-specific information in the Palliative Care section.

The Ian Anderson Continuing Education Program in End-of-Life Care was a joint project of the University of Toronto's Continuing Education, Faculty of Medicine, and The Joint Centre for Bioethics. The program materials are accessible on the website, although the program is no longer offered.

Use the Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin's site Palliative Care Fast Facts and Concepts for searchable, brief guides about common palliative care topics.

The Edmonton Zone Palliative Care Program website contains resources for health care professionals, patients, and caregivers; for example, Palliative Care Tips.

Palliative Care Guidelines Plus is an online edition of Dr. Ian Back’s handbook, and provides practical information about managing a variety of clinical situations in palliative medicine. The formulary and approach is from the UK (Welsh) perspective.

Palliative Info, developed and maintained by Dr. Mike Harlos in Winnipeg, has useful clinical information, including protocols for incident pain and opioids in dyspnea. It also offers links to a number of other relevant sites.

Pallium Canada offers peer-reviewed resources and clinical decision-making tools, including the Pallium Palliative Pocketbook and e-book (both available for purchase here).

The Practical Management of Common Problems in Palliative Care is a two-page pocket guide, from Manitoba, for managing common symptoms.

The SPICT - Supportive and Palliative Care Indicators Tool is a guide, developed at the University of Edinburgh, to help identify people whose health is deteriorating for needs assessment and care planning.

The Way Forward is a Canadian roadmap for an integrated palliative approach to care, led by Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada and managed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association. 

Medications and drugs

The Opioid Pharmacology: How to choose and how to use presentation, from FMF 2010. Created by Dr. Romayne Gallagher (Division of Palliative Providence Health Care), it contains useful background information about opioids and clinical cases about chronic pain.

Methadone for Pain in Palliative Care is an accredited course for physicians wishing to improve their knowledge and develop core competencies in methadone prescribing for pain management in palliative care., available by paid subscription, has an online palliative care formulary for medications commonly used in palliative care. The formulary is available in PDF or book format, and country-specific formularies (e.g., for Canada) are also available.

Palli-Science This page is available in French only. It has a variety of resources, including drug guides and pain manuals.

Associations and societies

The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association provides leadership in hospice palliative care in Canada. A broad range of information is available, including publications and resources such as Standards and Norms of Practice, A Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care, and links to other websites.

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians is a federal not-for profit corporation that promotes access to high quality palliative care for all Canadians through advocacy, partnerships, research, and physician education. The website includes updates on advocacy statements and report, as well as training and job opportunities, membership benefits (e.g., discounted rates for the Journal of Palliative Medicine), and information about their annual Advanced Learning in Palliative Medicine conference.

The Council on Palliative Care focuses on Montreal, listing palliative care resources specific to that area. It also provides some general information and resources.

The Center to Advance Palliative Care, based in the United States, provides a useful website for those interested in program and policy development, has evidence-based information on outcomes and economics that support the use of palliative care in acute care settings, and information on geriatric palliative care.

The European Association for Palliative Care website has information about Europe-specific policies, education opportunities, as well as directories for hospices. 

The International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care website is an information resource for patients, professionals, health care providers, and policy-makers around the world. Of particular interest are the Association’s online newsletter and ethics articles, as well as their downloadable Manual of Palliative Care.

The Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada is a coalition of 30 national organizations concerned about quality end-of-life care for all Canadians.

Quebec Association of Palliative Medicine / Réseau de soins palliatifs du Québec (not available in English)

Contains information on the annual congress on palliative care, as well as resources on various topics, including grief.


The Journal of Palliative Medicine is one of the leading publications about palliative care. Subscription discounts available to members of CSPCP. 

For patients

The Canadian Virtual Hospice is an interactive network for people dealing with life-threatening illness and loss. This site also has a tab for professionals, with links to tools for practice and a methadone training course. 

Medical Assistance in Dying

The Foundation for Medical Practice Education and McMaster University collaborate to produce a variety of CME/CPD opportunities, including a Practice Based Small Group Learning module for Medical Assistance in Dying – Responding to Patients (available to subscribers only).

Copyright © 1996-2018 The College of Family Physicians of Canada