We would like to add that a large number of patients being admitted to Intensive Care Unit eventually may have to be withdrawn from the life support. This process can be inhuman, without the introduction of palliative care at the right time. In fact, all principles of palliative care must be applied during intensive care, too. While life-saving measures are in place, comfort measures should be concurrently given so that the patient does not recollect the period of intensive care with terror. Eventually, when the time comes, weaning from artificial life support measures should also be associated with palliative care principles.
Would this mean immediate improvement in access to pain relief in India? We fear not. There are two major hurdles before us: the first is education of professionals in pain management and the second is ensuring that all the states implement the new rules without bringing in procedural complications.
We have a lot of work to do!
Her assailant walked out of prison after seven years, a free man. Aruna Shanbaug continued her life of rigorous imprisonment in the hospital, the height of which is obvious when we are told that she died on a ventilator. Today, as she leaves us, we still do not have a law covering end-of-life decisions or covering withdrawal of life support. Medical science is confused, not having bothered to study the issue at depth, leaving the judiciary also confused, making them believe that withdrawal of artificial life support is a form of euthanasia.
Her life for the last 42 years would have forced us into action if our society had a conscience. Rest in peace, Aruna.
We need to get the story of people’s suffering out there for others to hear. The Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy has such a feature. Write your narrative. Tell your story to the world. It is a peer-reviewed, indexed journal; but has a fast-track system for narratives. You can get published, quick.
In May 2015, the journal has made all narratives open access. Just visit http://informahealthcare.com/doi/story/10.1517/news.2015.04.30.1012 and read the stories. You can see the heart-rending narratives from many parts of the world, stories of needless suffering, stories of how palliative care turned things around for patients with cancer pain, patients with post-traumatic pain and that of a bereaved daughter.
Tell your story. You will help to change the world. If you have questions, write to us: email@example.com
It would be more than worth a read – a sort of preparation for life. All the profit from her book came to Pallium India to support patient care. Nazeem writes to say about the next edition, which is available as Print on Demand:
“My book is proof read again to remove printing devils and mistakes. DC Books [Expressions] is ready to print copies of My Mother Did Not Go Bald on your demand. Interested readers are kindly requested to order the book through DC Books – Online Bookstore. Click here to order the book and support the efforts of Dr Rajagopal and Pallium India to raise awareness about palliative care. The book is also available on Amazon Kindle.”