terminal care, palliative care, Switzerland



  1. Spichiger, Elisabeth MSN, RN


This article describes palliative care in Switzerland. Some characteristics of this small European country are outlined and the political system is briefly explained. A description of the complex healthcare system, explaining influences stemming from the federal, cantonal, and municipal levels, is provided. The history of palliative care is summarized, including its current state and how it is embedded in the healthcare system. Presently, palliative care is only available for a few people. The institutions are characterized by great diversity, although their aims are the same: best quality of life for patients and families. Switzerland has to take up several challenges to achieve palliative care for all, the goal of many people and organizations.