Palliative care is aimed at patients who are suffering from a serious and incurable illness. The aim of the treatment is to improve the quality of life of those affected and their relatives (family and friends) through a holistic approach and to strengthen the patient's autonomy.


What palliative care means

"Palliative" is derived from "pallium", the Latin word for cloak, and the English term "care", which means "to tend, care for, protect and look after".

Palliative care can therefore be understood as a kind of cloak that provides protection and security for the patient and their loved ones. The mantle should also provide space for courage and strengthen self-determination and enable the highest possible quality of life in the various phases of the illness.

Based on the definition of the World Health Organization (WHO), palliative care is an approach to improving the quality of life of patients and their environment who are confronted with a life-threatening and/or chronically progressive illness.

What palliative care offers

The focus of palliative care is on the early and comprehensive recognition and best possible treatment of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, restlessness, insomnia, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression and despair.

Another important aim is to prevent suffering and complications arising during the course of an illness.

Treatment of the underlying disease, e.g. chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and palliative care are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other.

The needs of people in palliative situations can vary greatly. The aim of palliative care is to find the best possible and appropriate treatment for the individual patient at every stage of the illness.

The palliative care team at the USB supports inpatients and outpatients with palliative needs. Our services can be requested by the attending physicians in the form of a consultation (advice from a specialist and a nurse).

The palliative care consultation service includes the following tasks:

  • Assessment and alleviation of symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, restlessness, constipation and other physical complaints
  • Advice on therapy goals and decision-making and joint planning of the further course of therapy
  • Advice on the preparation of living wills
  • Support for patients and their relatives in the event of emotional or spiritual stress
  • Support in organizing and setting up a care network into which the patient can be discharged in a stable condition
  • Accompanying dying patients and their relatives in hospital
  • Involvement of other specialist disciplines such as pain management, physiotherapy, psycho-oncology, pastoral care, social services.
  • Continuity as a point of contact for patients, relatives, family doctors and outpatient services



Dr. Sandra Eckstein

Leitende Ärztin

Palliative Care


Dr. Martin Krähenbühl


Innere Medizin


Naëmi Bähre

Pflegeexpertin Palliativ Care

Abt. Praxisentwicklung und Forschung Pflege


Naemi Kurylec

Programmleiterin Palliativ Pflege

Abt. Praxisentwicklung und Forschung Pflege


Felix Schläfli

Pflegeexperte Palliativ Pflege

Abt. Praxisentwicklung und Forschung Pflege


Lorenza Sticca

med. adm. Personal

Palliative Care, Psychosomatik

Guidelines and directives

In a comprehensive anamnesis, we determine the palliative needs of patients and their environment. The problems are prioritized and a treatment goal is defined. To this end, we make specific suggestions, e.g. regarding medication or other measures.

In order to meet the complex needs of patients in palliative situations, a constant exchange of information between the treating team is required. We work closely with the treating oncologists and colleagues from the pain service, psycho-oncology, psychosomatic medicine, physiotherapy, pastoral care, nutritional advice, case management and social services.

We consider the patient and their environment to be an important part of the team. With respect for the patient's ideas, wishes and values, we aim to recognize and meet their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs through dialogue.

Palliative care supports and accompanies patients and their relatives. Palliative care affirms life and regards dying as a normal process. The aim of palliative care is to identify and address patients' physical, social, psychological and spiritual problems. Palliative care therefore includes medical treatment, nursing interventions and psychological, social and spiritual support.

Contact us

Ask your medical and nursing team for information, they can then arrange a contact for an inpatient visit or an appointment during consultation hours.

You are also welcome to contact us directly:
Palliative Care
University Hospital Basel
Petersgraben 4
4031 Basel


For further information on palliative care in Switzerland and services in the region: