Published on: March 25, 2017

“What care pathways does the Indian law permit for a very sick patient with an advanced disease, when there is no scope for curative treatment?”

The question was asked by a doctor from the audience, to Dr Nandini Vallath, Pallium India’s consultant (in the picture) at the Association of Physicians of India – API conference in Alappuzha held on the 25th of February 2017.

These and many other aspects of bringing in best care practices surfaced during the invited presentation on “Relevance of Palliative Care approach in routine clinical practice” by Dr Nandini. While she described the current legal situation for the terminally ill in India, and explained about empowering the patient through information and shared decision making as the crucial focus in such situations, a senior professor of Medicine from the audience elaborated on the point further by relating a patient instance, where a decision on whether to aggressively intervene or introduce comfort care could be solved through direct communications, and by providing clarifications. Both emphasized regular repeated information sharing with patient / family as the way forward for appropriate decisions to emerge in complex situations.

The API conference aimed to update the knowledge and competencies of the physicians through enlightening presentations from oncologists, pulmonologists, and nutritionists and other specialists on different relevant areas of care. There was enthusiastic participation from the post graduate students as well, due to the interesting prizes for Quiz programs which were held at several phases during the conference.

Congratulations to Dr. Chandni. R, Hon. Secretary, API Kerala Chapter and Dr. Suma T K Professor of Internal Medicine, Alappuzha Medical College for bringing palliative care into mainstream academics of physicians – the anchor speciality in healthcare.

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