Pain, Palliative Care and Compassion in India
If you think the narrative gives only the dismal state of palliative care – and healthcare as a whole – in India, you are mistaken. The article also paints the beautiful picture of Rekha-di, the psychologist patient coordinator with the palliative care team at Saraj Gupta Cancer Centre and Research Institute (SGCC&RI), Kolkata.
Their patient, a delirious young man, looks agitated but it soon becomes apparent that this was not due to confusion or delirium, the man is simply frightened. As Dr Fox searches through the list of possible medications in her head, Rekha-di just goes to him, puts her arms around him, holds his head on her shoulder and strokes his back, speaking softly to him. The tension dissolves. The man is comforted.
The article also describes the unrelieved pain that a 30 year old lady with advanced breast cancer goes through due to a lack of access to morphine, and the intense relief of the carers when Ms Dutta gets morphine that relieves her pain and breathlessness.
Congratulations to Dr Hannah Fox and Ms Kate Jackson for these stories which could be powerful tools for advocacy.
Congratulations also to the Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy and to Taylor & Francis, the publisher of the journal, who have made its narratives feature open access and to Mr Art Lipman, the editor of the journal.
Real stories of pain, suffering and relief help to illustrate the desperate need for palliative care and pain relief worldwide. The Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy welcomes your narratives on pain, suffering and relief.
(This article was first published in ehospice.)