Based on the demonstrated effectiveness of palliative care in the alleviation of symptoms and enhancement of life quality, it is important to incorporate palliative care early in the respiratory disease trajectory. Quality palliative care addresses eight domains that are all patient and family centred. Palliative care interventions in respiratory conditions include management of symptoms such as dyspnoea, cough, haemoptysis, sputum production, fatigue and respiratory secretion management, especially as the end-of-life nears. A practical checklist of activities based on the domains of palliative care can assist clinicians to integrate palliative care into their practice. Clinical management of patients receiving palliative care requires consideration of human factors and related organisational characteristics that involve cultural, educational and motivational aspects of the patient/family and clinicians.