Global Palliative Care Community Highlights

2017; Volume 18, No 5, May

Global Palliative Care Community Highlights – initiatives and newsbites from across the world

Religions together for palliative care

IAHPC took part in two important meetings in Rome, Italy, at the end of March. Dr Katherine Pettus, IAHPC Advocacy Officer for Palliative Care Medicines, reported on the meetings in the EAPC Blog.

Representatives of main religions and palliative care experts meet in Rome. Front row, 7th from the right, are Silvia Lefebvre (Maruzza Foundation) and Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia (Pontifical Academy for Life) who convened the meetings. Next to them are Liliana De Lima and Katherine Pettus.

At the end of March, several representatives of different non-governmental organizations and academic institutions met at the Vatican for two international palliative care meetings: the first was convened under the leadership of Silvia Lefebvre, of the Rome-based Maruzza Foundation, and the second by the Pontifical Academy for Life (or PAV) under the leadership of Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia.

The Maruzza Foundation invited participants from all the major faiths and palliative care disciplines to draft and ratify a ‘Religions of the World Charter on Palliative Care for Older People’, similar to the ‘Charter of the Dying Child’.

The PAV invited an expert working group (many of whom had also participated in the Maruzza meeting) to participate in a multi-year project whose goal is to develop a strategy to ensure availability of palliative care worldwide.

Read Katherine’s full blog post here.

Believing Jeny about her pain

Pallium India shares this extract from a longer article that is free to download from the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy

Dr. M. S. Biji, a palliative care physician working in India, writes about Jeny, a 19-year-old woman with cancer and excruciating pain, who was brought to her hospital. “The nurse in charge of Jeny told us that she was not responding even to morphine, which she was taking every four hours. Jeny did not look up at us, and we therefore found it difficult to ask her to score her pain.”

Dr. Biji and other members of the treating team listened as Jeny’s mother explained the history of the illness. They increased the dose of morphine but she was still unresponsive. This caused some of the staff members to suspect that her pain was caused by her psychological issues, such as any young woman of her age in that situation would experience.

However, there were also indications that her pain was not entirely from emotional causes. The palliative nurse noticed that Jeny was willing to talk during the transient periods when her pain was bearable. Dr. Biji remembered what her professor had taught her: “Believe the patient about his/her pain.”

She was proven right. Once the palliative care team believed the young woman’s report of her pain, they were able to arrive at the right combination of medicines to bring her pain under control and to relieve her intolerable suffering.

Read the complete article by Dr. M. S. Biji, published in the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy: Believing Jeny About Her Pain.

Share your story . . .

The Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy invites narratives on Pain, Relief and Suffering. If you have a story to share, please write to:

CanSupport honored as Public Health Champion by World Health Organization (WHO)

We are delighted to announce that IAHPC institutional member, CanSupport, from New Delhi, India, received a special award on World Health Day on 7 April. Read more on our IAHPC Membership Matters page.

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