In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature formed the Palliative Care Advisory Council. Under the guidance of the Wyoming Department of Health, the Council is to evaluate the current palliative care services and needs within Wyoming, which will lead to the formulation of a path to advance the knowledge and use of palliative care.
Since its creation, the Council has conducted a series of meetings to create, administer, and analyze an initial assessment of Wyoming’s current state of palliative care. The Wyoming Legislature has defined palliative care to be patient and family-centered medical care that optimizes quality of life by anticipating, preventing, and treating suffering caused by serious illness. Palliative care throughout the continuum of illness involves addressing the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs of the patient and facilitates patient autonomy, access to information, and choice. Palliative care includes, but is not limited to, discussion of the patient’s goals for treatment and discussion of appropriate treatment options including hospice care and comprehensive pain and symptom management when appropriate. Palliative care is also for a terminal, potentially terminal, or serious chronic illness that is designed to reduce adverse symptoms, reduce pain and suffering and improve quality of life without, by itself, seeking to cure the illness, prevent death or prolong life. Palliative care includes hospice care. Palliative care does not include treatment or procedures that are meant to hasten death.