2008; Volume 9, No 8, August

Roberto Wenk, MD Liliana De Lima, MHA


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Message from the Chair
and Executive Director

Roberto Wenk, MD (Argentina)
Liliana De Lima, MHA (USA)

Dear readers:

Some of you may have already received a copy of the press release sent out a few days ago announcing the Joint Declaration and Statement of Commitment coordinated by the IAHPC, the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA), and other organizations calling for the recognition of Palliative Care and Pain Treatment as Human Rights.  The Declaration and Statement was developed jointly with, and signed by, representatives of several international and regional organizations from Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia and North America. The Declaration was presented August 4th at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. It will also be presented in future events, congresses and meetings.

This is the first time that a Joint Declaration has been developed and signed by a collection of leading international organizations in the field of palliative care, hospice, pain, cancer, HIV/AIDS and others. 

The Declaration is based on International Human Rights Agreements, UN Declarations and WHO documents. The Declaration is an unprecedented collective effort by representatives from healthcare and patient advocacy organizations from around the world who are working together to achieve seven specific goals in palliative care and pain management.

It will be used by non-governmental organizations, professional organizations, federations, alliances and civic-minded individuals to bring palliative care and pain treatment to the attention of policy makers, regulators, governments and organizations in order to improve the care of patients with life-limiting conditions and to provide support to their families and loved ones.

We are sure that this Declaration will be a great tool to advance palliative care and pain treatment for patients and their families around the world. The IAHPC and the WPCA have invited other interested organizations and individuals to sign the Declaration. Signatures will be collected until October 11th, the date of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day, at which time the final list of individuals and organizations that signed the Declaration will be published.

If you haven’t signed the Declaration yet, we invite you to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to join us and many others in the recognition of palliative care and pain treatment as human rights. To read and sign go to

We are also happy to let you know that our work to develop a new strategic plan for IAHPC (2008-2013), is advancing rapidly. Our Board is currently reviewing all the proposals and suggestions that will lay out the organization’s roadmap for the next five years. There are some exciting new projects and proposals which we believe will help us better define our role and the programs we can put in place to further advance hospice and palliative care in the world.

Many thanks to those who sent applications for scholarships to the International Congress in Montréal – the response was overwhelming! More than 80 applications were received in our office and our selection committee is now working to select the candidates that will receive the ten grants we have budgeted for. This means that we cannot support many great applicants who may have the leadership and commitment to improve palliative care in their countries. We ask funders and donors interested in supporting this program, to let us know if they are willing to support additional scholars to Montréal and to help us to help others.
To donate, please click on http://www.hospicecare.com/give/donate.html

Finally, we would like to share one of the many letters that we receive each month. Mr. Steven Currier sent us a letter after the death of his grandmother, who was cared for at Merrimack Hospice House in the USA. His letter moved us so much, that we asked Mr. Currier’s permission to include it in our Newsletter. Many thanks to him for allowing us to share a part of his beautiful letter:

“… my grandmother was eased into her last days with a pain free and comfortable passing… to a better place to which she now exists. We were relieved by the tender care she received from her caregivers. We now feel so moved by their compassion and we, on behalf of my grandmother, speak highly of hospice care and talk highly of its reputation.

Again, many thanks for all you do.”

Steven R. Currier
San Francisco, California

Until next month,

Roberto Wenk, MD
Chair, Board of Directors

Liliana De Lima, MHA
Executive Director

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