The confusion in the public mind between euthanasia and withdrawal of life support seems to be getting deeper and deeper. Please see the latest Supreme Court decision
. Let us hope the Parliament is not confused when the matter is placed before them.
Despite all the news reports in the media, misunderstandings continue even among medical professionals. Despite all the declarations of the World Health Assembly and International Narcotics Control Board, pain continues to be untreated.
Please see this report: Too little, too late: Why palliative care is vastly inadequate in India
Is there not violation of our fundamental right to life with dignity when hospitals do not stock or use the essential medicine, morphine?
How can we justify medical and nursing curricula which do not include palliative care?
Belinda Loring and Marie-Charlotte Bouesseau from the World Health Organization write to inform that the WHO manual “Planning and implementing palliative care services: a guide for programme managers” has now been published. It is available online at this link: http://www.who.int/ncds/management/palliative-care/palliative_care_services/en/
We are sure that the document will be an excellent resource particularly for newly evolving palliative care programs.
A new WHO document titled “The Preventable Pain Pandemic
” points out examples from Mexico and India as places where progress has been made but where there is plenty of room for future work. It is 39 years now since the WHO placed morphine on its essential medicine list, and “considers it the gold standard in pain management and relief.” India also has this medicine on its essential list; yet less than 1% of the hospitals stock or use it.
It is high time the situation changed. This WHO document calls for “balance in national policies”.
We are very proud of our collaborators at Tanda, Himachal Pradesh. The palliative care pioneers in the state, Professors Parveen Sharma, Rekha Sharma and Ms Rajani Arora got together to plan their first academic activity – a one day educational program for nurses.
The legendary Dr Michael Kearney, the Irish Physician who is the author of such well-known books like “Mortally Wounded”, blessed the event with his presence. (The picture shows Dr Michael Kearney and Dr Parveen Sharma).
Pallium India is proud to work with this team in initiating the first palliative care service in HP. Thank you Dorabji Tata Trust, for funding this program.