Pallium India-USA was launched in California on 26th September 2010.
Initiated by Dr Jerina Kapoor (Founder & President), Pallium India-USA will work towards improving access to palliative care in India, but will also provide information to the Indian community in USA on matters relating to Advanced Care Directives and available services for their relatives back in India.
At a function held in the India Community Center, Milpitas, California, Dr Vyjeyanthi Periyakoil from Stanford University, Dr M.R. Rajagopal (Chairman, Pallium India), Ms Sandy Stokes from the Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care and Dr Jerina Kapoor addressed a gathering of more than 130 members, the vast majority of them from the Indian community.
The theme of the meeting can be summarized as answering the questions:
God forbid that something like that should happen to you, but…
- If a relative of yours has incurable cancer in India, where can that person access pain management or palliative care?
- How can you ensure that the person lives with dignity during the last few months of his life?
- What can you do to improve access to people like him?
Or, if you get an advanced incurable disease… Where would you like to spend your last few weeks or days? In an intensive care unit or in your home? How can you ensure that your wishes are respected?
The attendees took a general decision to support initiation of palliative care services in as many places in India as possible and decided on an action plan for the same.
For the USA based population, Advanced Care Directives was recommended, as a way to have a say in the care that people would receive in case they are not able to speak for them selves because of an illness.
Also, decision was taken to form Speaker Forums to go out in the community to talk about end-of -life issues, and there were many people volunteering for that. People expressed interest in looking at the resources in their home towns in India for palliative care and work to improve that. So, it was a meeting that inspired people to work to improve things in their own community, whether here in the US or in India.
There was a ‘can do’ spirit in the room. A decision was taken to have a follow up meeting to organize ourselves.