Ms Gilly Burn is an amazing person who, in the 80s, travelled the length and breadth of India, introducing palliative care, finding pioneers, getting them trained and empowering them for palliative care. She continues to visit and support the activities of the Indian palliative care community. In October 2018, she visited several places in India including Shillong, Nagpur, Gujarat, Pondicherry, and conducted sessions on palliative care, and interacted with the staff and students in different institutes, as part of incorporating palliative care in the medical curriculum.
Dr Dinesh Kumar of Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad, Gujarat, writes about Gilly’s visit:
Ms. Gilly Burn, Director Care Response International and Founder Director Cancer Relief India from United Kingdom, visited Pramukhswami Medical College on 20th October.
She had interaction sessions on the topic “Palliative Care in Health Professional Education”, which were attended by about 100 medical students, 100 Nursing students, 50 faculty and staff. Students asked questions related to various aspects of palliative care eg. Euthanasia, Collusion, Role of students in palliative care, Importance of communication, scope of palliative care etc. One student shared the story of her grandmother’s suffering and death, and the effect on the family. Gilly’s session was appreciated by everyone and several students and faculty felt motivated and touched by her words.
She then visited the palliative care OPD and ward; and interacted with a patient, family and the staff. She also had a meeting with Shri Sandeep Desai, CEO of Charutar Arogya Mandal (CAM). She provided inputs for the proposed community based palliative care component of Sparsh programme of CAM.