The central importance of spirituality in palliative care.
The potential of spirituality to contribute to improving the quality of life of those experiencing life-threatening illness is yet to be fully realised in most palliative care settings. This may be due to many health professionals relegating spiritual issues to the background of palliative care instead of regarding spirituality as a domain equal to the physical, social, and psychological domains. The aim of this paper is to demonstrate, by reviewing the literature and providing examples from the author's personal experience as a chaplain, why spirituality should be considered on an equal footing with other key themes in palliative care, like relieving pain and advance care planning. It is hoped that this will create more self-awareness and generate greater discussion about the subject.