Special attention is given to mental, emotional, existential and spiritual distress
Active care complementing curative treatments taking the patient’s every need into account
The MST was created to improve quality of life for patients with a serious, progressive disease or at the end of life, regardless of their age and the stage of their illness.
We serve patients, their families and the primary health care team as well as persons mourning the death of a loved one.
The MST is made up of two physicians, one nurse, one psychologist and a medical secretary who work together to provide the best possible response to the requests expressed, based on an assessment of needs.
They circulate within the patient’s hospitalization unit to meet the health care team and attending physician, listening and providing the best possible support to the patient, their family and loved ones.
The team assists patients by working in partnership with the hospitalization unit health care team and physician responsible for the patient.
It can be called on:
The MST professionals are available to serve patients and families who request their assistance.
In order to provide the most appropriate possible care to the patient, the MST may call on other health care professionals such as a social worker, nutritionist or physical therapist.
They strive to build an active partnership with patients, their loved ones, the attending physician and primary health care team.
Supporting patients means being there to listen, meet with them and provide the best possible response to their needs in a caring, compassionate way.
It means taking account of the different aspects of their distress in order to bring them the comfort they need.
The MST can also guide patients in expressing their will and help them understand that the team members can be an attentive presence throughout this important moment of their lives.
The MST also provides essential support to the patient’s loved ones, helping them express any difficulties they may be facing in caring for the ill person.
This support may continue after the death of the loved one.
SFAP : Société Française d'Accompagnement et de soins Palliatifs.
Pain often occurs as an illness progresses; its intensity is not necessarily correlated to the seriousness of the disease.
Pain management is a key aspect of enhancing patients’ quality of life, which may be altered not only by certain symptoms of discomfort (nausea, fatigue, trouble sleeping, eating or digesting…) but also by the side effects of curative treatments.
Persistent, chronic pain has a strong impact on the daily life of patients and their relationships with others.
The MST’s medical professionals have expertise in pain management. They evaluate pain intensity and make the appropriate recommendations or direct prescriptions.
SFETD : Société Française d'Etude et de Traitement de la Douleur
In addition to physical pain, the patient may be experiencing other types of distress:
The aim of supportive and palliative care is to improve quality of life for patients by relieving their physical, mental or emotional distress throughout the duration of their illness.
Palliative care is not just for the terminally ill. It is active care consisting in medical treatments provided by health care teams combined with compassionate support. This continuous, adaptable and coordinated care is given through a holistic approach to the patient by a multidisciplinary team.
Palliative care takes into account the different aspects of chronic illness, including physical symptoms, emotional impact, social consequences as well as existential and spiritual issues. It helps patients and their loved ones maintain quality of life at the highest possible level while promoting the continuity of care among the various professionals involved.
Palliative care mustn't be associated exclusively with end of life. It can be provided throughout the course of a disease, as a complement to curative treatments, and continues when curative treatments are suspended.
Palliative care can improve quality of life and positively influence the progression of the disease.
The French law of 22 April 2005 on patient rights and end of life, known as Leonetti’s law, provides important guidelines for those facing difficult situations involving treatment. It affirms the need to provide palliative care and support to patients.
It sets forth the terms of making decisions in line with the patient's will, even if patients are no longer able to express their will independently. To this end, each person has the option of drafting advance directives if so desired. Moreover, health care professionals are required to suggest to patients that they appoint a trusted person each time they are hospitalized.
This law, which is part of the French public health code, supplements the law of 9 June 1999 guaranteeing the right to access palliative care and the law of 4 March 2002 on patient rights.
The French public health code law of 4 March 2002 specifies that “no diagnostic or therapeutic act may be performed without the prior consent of the patient.”
The MST professionals strive to achieve optimal respect of patients’ dignity, freedom and autonomy in the management of their disease.
Their approach aims to avoid unreasonable obstinacy in investigations or therapeutics while refusing to intentionally cause death.
The MST professionals may become involved:
The physician responsible for the patient’s hospital stay remains in charge of the patient.
The MST team works in partnership and creates synergies with the patient’s attending physician and primary health care team.
The support provided by all the MST professionals, including the physicians, is an integral part of hospital care at AHP.
There is no extra cost for these services.