Due to demographic, epidemiological and cultural changes that have taken place in recent years, palliative care has increasingly become a key element of healthcare policy in many countries. Palliative care is also evolving, with regards to both care goals and care models. In 2010 the Italian Government unanimously approved legislation (Law 38/2010) establishing the right of seriously ill patients and their families to access palliative care as part of fundamental healthcare in Italy; to date, this law is not yet implemented homogeneously throughout the country. Along with the recognition that the concept of ‘living and dying well’ is significantly conditioned by social, cultural and religious influences, there is currently an on-going discussion about how to effectively develop and organize palliative care provision in the diverse social and cultural contexts that exist around the world.
Keywords: Cure palliative; qualità della vita; organizzazione dei servizi; morte e morire; Legge 38/2010; comunità compassionevoli.