India’s President Endorses Palliative Care

2010 April 5

President Pratibha Patil (r) with Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Diskhit.

Mrs Pratibha Patil, President of India, inaugurating the new Manav Sevarth Trust Action Cancer Hospital in West Delhi on March 2, highlighted the need for palliative care.

We believe this is the first time someone high up in the Central Government Machinery has acknowledged the need for palliative care, quote from Yahoo! News the President’s full speech:

Cancer patients require proper care. To lessen their unbearable pain, palliative centres should be established. Along with it, training programmes should be conducted for doctors and nurses. Their skills should be developed in such a way, that proper attention can be given to cancer patients, as they require considerable support and care. I hope the doctors, paramedical personnel and management of this hospital will fulfill their responsibilities with full commitment and dedication.

Unfortunately, late past presidents of India did not have access to palliative care and have indeed died in greater suffering than their fellow-Indians.

They were imprisoned in the confines of intensive care units, sometimes for weeks together, in addition to the endotracheal tube and ventilator, they had to go through the rigors of hemodialysis for several days and in one case, even a membrane oxygenator and cardiopulmonary bypass for two days before they were allowed to go.

What an undignified way to live the last days of one’s life and to die!

Now that the President of India herself is interested in palliative care, let us hope action by the Health Ministry will follow.

You can read the full speech here EnglishHindi.

6 Responses
  1. April 6, 2010

    Excellent news for soldiers of palliative care! Let us make use of this to pursue our agenda

  2. Dinesh Ch Goswami permalink
    April 6, 2010

    Encouraging News! Follow up actions on either side will be crucial

  3. Ravi Ghooi permalink
    April 6, 2010

    Congratulations to the entire team! This is indeed a victor of sorts. Let us continue the fight to make palliative care more widely available for patients.

  4. David Joranson permalink
    April 6, 2010

    It is important contribution when high level politicians give such good media visibility to palliative care, and when the journalists observe that past presidents have died without it.

    We should also be curious whether the Manav Sevarth Trust Action Cancer Hospital in West Delhi has an adequate and continuous stock of opioids such as oral morphine and whether needy patients can receive it from well-trained personnel.

  5. Shakeel Ahmad permalink
    April 6, 2010

    A ray of hope for the fighters of Palliative Care…

  6. Judith McEniery permalink
    April 8, 2010

    It is encouraging to hear of this mention so positively of Palliative Care from the President of your country. Let us hope and pray that it leads to comfort and enhanced quality of life for many in India. Best wishes to all involved.

Comments are closed.