LIFE Before Death #25: What is Palliative Care?

2011 November 4
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LIFE Before Death Wins Accolade Award!

Short Film 25 of 50 in the LIFE Before Death documentary series about the global crisis in untreated pain and the dramatic life changing affect palliative care services can deliver to patients and their families around the world.

In “What is Palliative Care?”¬†we discover the nuances that best describe and define the life-changing practice of palliative care.

“One of the things we want to bring around the end of life is dignity,” explains Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell (Uganda). “We want people to die with dignity and quality of life. If you talk to anybody who has lost a loved one, the greatest regret many people have is; ‘I wish I had said goodbye’… At the end of life your value as a human being does not stop.”

“Many people ask; What is Palliative Care?” reflects Dr Frank Ferris (USA). “I see it simply as therapeutic interventions trying to relieve, and even prevent, issues that cause suffering.”

“Palliative Care is whole person care,” states Dr Balfour Mount (Canada).

“We try to avoid pain, or when it starts, to manage it well,” continues Dr Ferris. “And to deal with many other symptoms that might be experienced.”

Palliative Care concentrates on the physical, psychological, social, anxiety, depression, family, existential, spiritual and financial aspects of care.

“It recognizes the profound importance of Cicely (Saunder’s) term Total Pain,” explains Dr Mount.

“It helps me manage the advancing illness as I approach the end of my life. It helps me prepare for the end of my life and specifically to manage all of the issues that arise during the dying process so that I can feel as comfortable as possible and have a safe transition as I die,” reflects Dr Ferris.

“Whole person care is a central concept. But the foundation of the edifice of whole person care is excellence in physical care, good nursing care, good, knowledgeable, available medical input. This is not a place for amateur night. These are the sickest people in the health care system. They deserve the best care,” insists Dr Mount.

Featuring Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell (Uganda), Dr Frank Ferris (USA), Dr Balfour Mount (Canada), Lorraine (USA) and Deanna (USA).

If you’ve missed previous episodes, catch up on the LIFE Before Death website…

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