Ms Gilly Burn visited Romila Palliative Care (RPC), SNEHA (Society for Nutrition, Education and Health Action) Mumbai, on November 14, 2022 and gave a session on The Art of gentle dying: A philosophy of Palliative care. About 42 participants attended, including 20 who joined online comprising RPC staff, volunteers and members of the Mumbai Palliative Care Network (MPCN).
Ms Pouruchisti Wadia, Associate Program Director, Romila Palliative Care, welcomed Gilly and introduced her to the audience by briefing about her work & contribution to palliative care in the UK, India and several other countries.
Gilly started her session by sharing various scenarios on palliative care and explaining how it was the need of the hour in India. She spoke about total pain, principles of palliative care, especially during end of life, and the right to choose where you would like to die. She elaborated on empathy when she displayed a picture of a patient in the ICU and shared a recording of the sound of the beep in the ICU. This was extremely impactful.
The thought-provoking session with personal examples helped the participants relate to their own experiences, which some of them shared. Gilly emphasized the importance of the role of volunteers and each of us in palliative care as being the voice of the voiceless. Most people intubated express non-verbally through tears, fist clenching, with fear in the eyes etc. of what they are experiencing, thus reiterating how each one wanted to be with their loved ones, instead of being in the midst of tubes and beeps coming from the machines surrounding them.
At the conclusion of the session, the participants said that the session was very informative and eye-opening. Ms Gilly Burn was also invited back to RPC by Dr Armida Fernandez, Founder Trustee, Romila Palliative Care. She promised to return in the month of January. Vote of Thanks was conveyed by Lithin Abraham, Program Coordinator, Romila Palliative Care.
(Report prepared by Lithin Abraham, Program Coordinator, Romila Palliative Care)