Published on: June 3, 2020

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JUNE 2020

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World Health Assembly (WHA) exhorts all countries to include palliative care in National Covid Response

The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision-making body of WHO, in their annual meeting on 18 and 19 May 2020, committed governments to deliver palliative care services alongside safe testing and treatment for COVID-19.

The WHA asks governments to “provide access to safe testing, treatment, and palliative care for COVID-19, paying particular attention to the protection of those with pre-existing health conditions, older persons, and other people at risk, in particular health professionals, health workers and other relevant frontline workers.” (Operative Paragraph 7.7) The resolution also calls for equitable access to medicines and vaccines.

Palliative care is the prevention and management of serious health related suffering for the patient and family. It treats pain, breathlessness and other symptoms and addresses emotional, social and spiritual suffering. Understandably, it has huge relevance, considering the burden of suffering in COVID-19.

Way back in 2014 the World Health Assembly had asked all member countries to integrate Palliative care into healthcare at all levels (primary, secondary and tertiary) across the continuum of the disease (from the beginning in the suffering to the end). Palliative care is low-cost. There is absolutely no reason for us not to abide by the resolution. By doing so, we would be removing a huge chunk of suffering from our country.

The decision by WHA at this time has tremendous significance, particularly considering that India’s Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has just taken over as chairman of the executive board of WHA.

Pallium India, a national organization aimed at integration of pain relief and palliative care in health care in the country has been asking for inclusion of palliative care in the COVID-19 strategy of Government of India and state governments. Working with PallicovidKerala, it has developed guidelines for palliative care in COVID-19 and has developed online courses for health care providers on the subject.

(For information on online courses for palliative care on COVID-19, write to

Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) new guidelines

The current issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Research carries a position paper by the BioEthics unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research on DNAR orders and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Read together with the Supreme Court’s judgment of 9 March 2018 (Common Cause vs Union of India), it begins the process of reforming the medicolegal basis of End of Life Care in India. Dr Roop Gursahani writes:

Petition to modify the telemedicine practice guidelines

Please sign this petition from IAPC to MCI Board of Governors requesting modification to the Telemedicine Practice Guidelines issued on 25 March 2020.

New definition of palliative care:

The official WHO definition of palliative care is 18 years old. Palliative care experts around the world (including 3 Indian members) have come together to attempt a redefinition. Most strikingly and importantly, it brings in serious health-related suffering as the objective.

Click here to read: Redefining Palliative Care – a New Consensus-based Definition

Pallicovid ECHO: palliative care training for health care providers treating people with Covid-19

Sessions Scheduled : 5 Sessions
Start Date : 8 June 2020 (Monday)
End Date: 12 June 2020 (Friday)
Contact us:

Palliative Care guidelines for COVID19
(Updated: May 27, 2020)

PallicovidKerala’s Palliative Care in COVID19- Resource Toolkit for Low and Middle Income Countries: E-Book (version 3) is aimed at health care professionals in their tireless battle against the pandemic. This document is the product of valuable inputs and discussion among national and overseas faculty.

Committee for Applied Ethics – for the time being, for COVID times

The value of our Committee for Applied Ethics

We need your help to battle COVID19.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, lack of timely resources can be crippling. Any contribution you make to our COVID19 response fund will help us do more and do better. Click here to donate:

You can also view our wish tree and donate on-


Compassion is essential for cure

Covid-19 & Critical Care: Ethical Dilemmas

The role of Palliative Care

COVID-19 in the time of NCDs

COVID-19: Nursing countries to better health

Collective Anxiety: We Must Not Forget the Mental Agony Caused by a Pandemic

The 2014 WHA Resolution and Palliative Care in India


Palliative Care Physician at Pallium India, Trivandrum

Staff Nurse at Pallium India, Trivandrum

Physiotherapist at Pallium India, Trivandrum

Medical Social Worker at Pallium India, Trivandrum


Together we can – the need for palliative care services to join forces in times of COVID-19

Resources relevant to Palliative Care and COVID-19

Pallium India participates in Global Sessions

Coronavirus: Helping the bereaved with ’emotional PPE’

Palliative care: why it is crucial in any COVID-19 response

Bereavement, grief and mourning are complicated experiences. The pandemic has made them tougher to navigate


Pandemic must not rob the dead of dignity

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Edited by Jeena R. Papaadi

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