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Palliative Care Program Committee

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Upcoming events

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Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s (CFPC’s) Palliative Care Program Committee and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association created an infographic to increase awareness among family physicians about advance care planning (ACP). This tool is also intended to help start conversations about ACP between care teams and patients.

Talking To #Mycommunity

Talking To #Mycommunity was developed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, to increase awareness among family physicians about advanced care planning.

The Speak Up Campaign is part of a larger initiative—Advance Care Planning in Canada—and is overseen by a National Advance Care Planning Task Group comprised of individuals representing a spectrum of disciplines, including health care, law, ethics, research and national non-profit organizations.

Visit Speak Up! Advance Care Planning Campaign for more resources on advance care planning (posters, videos, workbooks)

Canadian Virtual Hospice

We’re Bad at Death. Can We Talk?
Khullar D. The New York Times. May 10, 2017.

CFPC papers or endorsements

The CFPC Statement on issues related to end of life care
Position Statement—Issues Related to End of Life Care. The College of Family Physicians of Canada. March 2012.

Who we are

The Palliative Care Program Committee represents the interests of all members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) 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.

Palliative Care Program Committee membership


Dr. David Henderson, Nova Scotia


Dr. Stephanie Connidis, Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians representative, Nova Scotia

Dr. Erin Gallagher, Ontario representative

Dr. Carmen Johnson, Saskatchewan/Manitoba representative 

Dr. Grace Ma, Quebec representative 

Dr. Mehrnoush Mirhosseini, British Columbia/Alberta representative 

Dr. Sonya Swift, Resident Representative

The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) staff

Dr. Allan Grill, Physician Advisor, MIGS

Supported by the Programs and Practice Support Department

Palliative Care Program Committee Terms of Reference

Departments of Family Medicine 

Contact the Palliative Care Program Committee with any questions or comments at [email protected]


The Palliative Care Program Committee provides these relevant College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) materials, web resources, papers and clinical practice guidelines for those 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, or 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.

Palliative care articles

Palliative care articles in Canadian Family Physician: CFPC members interested in receiving the full publication of any of the following articles are asked to contact our Information Specialist at [email protected]

Advance care planning

Speak Up–Advance Care Planning: includes links to workbooks and resources for health care professionals, patients, and their families

Serious illness conversations and capturing advance care planning
Chen C, Rubensohn H. This Changed My Practice. April 12, 2017. Available from the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine website.

We’re Bad at Death. Can We Talk?
Khullar D. The New York Times. May 10, 2017.

RecordMeNow: a free, not-for-profit app to record video messages for family and friends to have after death 

Guidelines and clinical tools

Canadian Virtual Hospice: palliative and end-of-life care, loss and grief support

Cancer Care Ontario (CCO): the Ontario government’s advisor for cancer and renal systems provides information about clinical practice guidelines and protocols for practitioners; includes palliative care tools, and symptom assessment and management tools in the CCO toolbox section

British Columbia Guidelines (Palliative Care section): “By BC physicians for BC physicians” as well as nurse practitioners, and medical students, other health care professionals and educators

Ian Anderson Continuing Education Program in End-of Life Care: former 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.)

Palliative Care Network of Wisconsin: Fast Facts and Concepts, continuing medical education (CME), and searchable, brief guides about common palliative care topics

Edmonton Zone Palliative Care Program: contains resources for health care professionals, patients, and caregivers, including Palliative Care Tips

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

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

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

Supportive & Palliative Care Indicators Tool (SPICT™): a guide, developed at the University of Edinburgh, to help identify people with deteriorating health for needs assessment and care planning

The Way Forward: An Integrated Palliative Approach to Care: a Canadian roadmap for palliative care, led by Quality End-of-Life Care Coalition of Canada and managed by the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association 

Medications and drugs

Opioid Pharmacology—How to choose and how to use: background information about opioids and clinical cases about chronic pain
Gallagher R, Division of Palliative Providence Health Care. Family Medicine Forum. 2010.

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

Palli-Science: drug guides and pain manuals (available in French only)

Associations and societies

Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association: a leader in hospice palliative care in Canada with publications and resources such as Standards and Norms of PracticeA Model to Guide Hospice Palliative Care (PDF), and links to other websites

Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians: a federal, not-for profit corporation that promotes access to high quality palliative care for all Canadians through advocacy, partnerships, research, and physician education; includes updates on advocacy statements and reports, 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

Council on Palliative Care: palliative care resources specific to Montreal and within and beyond the McGill University network

Center to Advance Palliative Care: United States-based resources for those interested in program and policy development; evidence-based information on outcomes and economics that support the use of palliative care in acute care settings, and information on geriatric palliative care

European Association for Palliative Care: Europe-specific policies, education opportunities, and hospice directories

International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care: a resource for patients, professionals, health care providers, and policy-makers around the world; includes an online newsletter and ethics articles, and Manual of Palliative Care

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

Association québécoise de soins palliatifs (available in French only): information about the annual congress on palliative care, as well as resources related to grief


Journal of Palliative Medicine: leading palliative care publication with reduced subscription rates for Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians (CSPCP) members

Literature search results

APPEAL TO PHYSICIANS – OPIOIDS HAVE THEIR PLACE – Let’s avoid an unintended tragedy!
Canadian Society of Palliative Care letter to the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). November 2017.

Learning to care: medical students’ reported value and evaluation of palliative care teaching involving meeting patients and reflective writing
Borgstrom E, Morris R, Wood D, Cohn S, Barclay S. BMC Medical Education. November 25, 2016; 16(1):306.

Palliative care in children with cancer: implications for general practice
van der Geest IM, Bindels PJ, Pluijm SM, Michiels EM, van der Heide A, Pieters R, et al. British Journal of General Practice. December 2016; 66(653):599-600.

Advances in radiotherapy technology for non-small cell lung cancer: What every practitioner should know.
Huo M, Gorayski P, Pinkham MB, Lehman M. Australian Family Physician. November 2016; 45(11):805-809.

Diffusion of palliative care in nursing homes: lessons from the culture change movement.
Tyler DA, Shield RR, Miller SC. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. May 2015; 49(5):846-52.

Effect of Primary Care Involvement on End-of-Life Care Outcomes: A Systematic Review.
Kim SL, Tarn DM. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. October 2016; 64(10):1968-1974.

For patients

Canadian Virtual Hospice: an interactive network for people dealing with life-threatening illness and loss, and for professionals, with tools for practice and a methadone training course 

Medical assistance in dying

Medical Assistance in Dying–Responding To Patients (February 2017): a continuing professional development module from the Foundation for Medical Practice Education and McMaster University

Palliative Care Program Committee newsletters

Spring 2016


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