Surgery, palliative care, and the American College of Surgeons

Posted On 2015-04-22 17:57:10

Since the late 1990s, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) has increasingly recognized and advocated palliative care for patients and their families with serious, critical, and terminal illness under surgical care. The college has been the primary catalyst for the recognition of palliative care in the field of surgery in the U.S. and abroad, primarily through educational efforts directed at practicing surgeons and surgeons in training. Roughly 15 years ago a group of surgeons from the fellowship of the college coalesced and then spearheaded these initiatives with invaluable support and advice from leading non-surgeon pioneers of palliative care. This group is now titled, the Committee on Surgical Palliative Care (CSPC). The CSPC’s mission is to incorporate the precepts and techniques of palliative care into surgical clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy. This report chronicles the contributions the ACS has made to the evolution of surgical palliative care and details the formation of its CSPC and its role in shaping surgical palliative care today.