Pontifical Academy for Life organizes palliative care workshop in the Vatican

2017 April 18

Dr Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:

Pope Francis (Image from the Internet)

It was a privilege for Pallium India to be one of 8 invited participants at a workshop organised in the Vatican by the Pontifical Academy for Life on 30 March, 01 April, 2017. The Catholic Church’s interest in palliative care is truly gratifying and holds great promise for the future because its healthcare institutions account for 26% of all in the world. If they all incorporate palliative care into healthcare, it could remove a huge burden of pain and suffering particularly in low and low-middle income countries.

The participants had a special treat – we stayed in Domus Sanctae Marthae where Pope Francis stays and ate in the same dining room. Just being able to see him twice a day was a treat considering what an amazing human being he is, having discarded all luxuries that could be associated with the head of one of the most powerful states of the world, and chose to live with common people like us.

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia

And it was truly a privilege to listen to Archbishop Vincenzo Paglio who chaired the workshop. Here are a few pearls from his talk:

  • “A person should never be deprived of his/her dignity – even when one may be tempted to suspect that the person is unworthy.”
  • “In this world of palliative care, no one is abandoned.”
  • “Beware of the dictatorship of “I” – the ego.”
  • “Palliere” should not be used like a lid to hide suffering and to walk away.”
  • “Ignorance is cruel in this matter. Cultural illiteracy is not acceptable. We have to overcome the guilty silence.”
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