Dr M R Rajagopal, Chairman of Pallium India, writes:
What had started as a book signing event in the Bay Area, California on June 5 ended as an experience-sharing event. Practically every attendee had a story to tell ‒ stories of pain and suffering of a loved one in India, of the insensitivity of the medical system and even of fights with the medical system to bring some dignity to dying family members.
Dr T from a well-known health care institution in the Bay Area talked about having to fight a doctor who insisted ‘my duty is to prolong life’ and having to swallow insinuations like, ‘You are practically killing your mother’. But armed with palliative care knowledge and experience, she could fight the system and ensure a safe and dignified passage for her mother.
Then came stories of doctors struggling with breaking the bad news, and of families subjected to insensitive communication. And, extended families adding to the suffering by implying that by not subjecting the loved one to inappropriate intensive care, they were practically abetting euthanasia. There were many tears, many sobs.
Thank you Mr Sandip Jariwala of ‘Relief from Cancer’ for organising the event. And thank you Dr Ann Broderick of Iowa for leading Pallium India Inc in USA, which connects Indian Americans needing palliative care for their families back in India with our team in Thiruvananthapuram to help them access palliative care in the nearest centre; and where no such centre exists, to provide Telehealth services.
Thank you everyone, for your interest in my book, ‘Walk with the Weary’.