Care Beyond Cure
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! November 2017 !
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November 1, 2017
A SIXTH OF WORLD’S SICK NEEDING PALLIATIVE ARE IN INDIA, STUDY FINDS
INEQUITY IN ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL PAIN RELIEF AND PALLIATIVE CARE IS ONE
OF THE WORLD’S MOST STRIKING INJUSTICES, SAYS LANCET STUDY.
The Lancet commission on Global Access to Palliative Care and Pain
Relief which included 61 authors from 25 countries, has published their report
[http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/palliative-care] ahead of world
palliative care day which falls on 14 October 2017. Of the 6 crores of people
worldwide who need palliative care, 1/6th, that is one crore, are in India.
Only a tiny minority of them has access to basic pain relief or palliative
Though the government of India announced a national program for
palliative care in 2012, the budget allocation has been grossly inadequate and
progress in the last five years is negligible. The Indian Parliament changed
its draconian Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, a major hindrance
to access to pain relief, in 2014; but even today most Indian states have not
implemented it. And sadly, basic pain management and principles of palliative
care are even now not taught to medical and nursing students.
The theme of world palliative care day 2017 exhorts, “Don’t leave those
suffering behind”. “People with advanced illness and pain are weakened by
disease; they have no voice. Only a public outcry against the injustice done to
them can save the situation”, says Dr.M.R.Rajagopal, the chairman of Pallium
India who is one of the five lead authors of the Lancet report.
Read the report here: Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care
and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet
Commission report [http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/palliative-care]
RAJAM S NAIR ENDOWMENT PRIZE ESSAY COMPETITION
Pallium India announces Rajam S. Nair endowment prize essay competition
open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in India.
The theme for write-up is the same as that of WORLD PALLIATIVE CARE DAY
2017: “Palliative care and Universal Health Coverage: Do not leave those
* Word Limit: 2000
* Language: English
* Please download this file
for further details on the competition and the prizes.
* Send your write-up as PDF to the email id: writeup@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
* Deadline for submission: 20 November 2017
* Notification of prizes: 15 December 2017
* Prize distribution: 23 February 2018 at 25th Annual Conference of
Indian Association of Palliative Care, Jawaharlal Nehru Auditorium, AIIMS, New
Contact: writeup@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:writeup@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
THALOLAM 2017: PATIENT GET-TOGETHER ON WORLD HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE DAY
Pallium India celebrated World Palliative Care Day with a get-together
of patients and families at Government Youth Hostel, Trivandrum. Famous
playback singer G Venugopal inaugurated the function and mesmerised the
audience with his songs. The event, titled “Thalolam 2017” was a full-day
program and was attended by people who are wheelchair bound or suffering from
life limiting diseases, and their families.
Dr. Biju Prabhakar IAS, Secretary, Social justice department, delivered
the keynote address. Kalyan Ram, DGM, State Bank of India and Dr. C Mohanan
Pallium India trustee spoke on the occasion. After lunch, there were cultural
programs by patients, Mentalism show by Preeth Azheekkode and performace by
Balloon Artiste Shijina Preeth.
Our sincere gratitude to everyone who stood with us and supported us.
_For more information on the importance of World Hospice and Palliative
Care Day, please visit:
_[Photo G Venugopal interacting with the audience]_
AN IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENT ON THE EVE OF WORLD PALLIATIVE CARE DAY
_Sumitha T.S., Pallium India’s Project Executive, writes:_ "
One of South India’s leading deemed universities, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth
(SBV), Puducherry, has started the process of incorporating palliative care
into its undergraduate medical curriculum.
We are certain that this would encourage all such institutions to bring
in changes that allow professionals to work with more humaneness. Pallium India
is proud to collaborate with Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth for this noble cause.
As per Human Rights Watch report, ‘ Unbearable Pain, India’s Obligation
to Ensure Palliative Care
’ (2009), only 5 out of 300 medical colleges in India have integrated some
instruction on palliative care into their curricula. Capacity building through
palliative care education is also one of the recommendations by WHO. Palliative
care approach envisages application of palliative care principles appropriately
into practice by healthcare professionals.
We could firmly say that students of SBV are already into palliative
care – if wall paintings in their palliative care ward and volunteering works
by students are anything to go by. If SBV train students to make their patients
smile wholeheartedly, it will be difficult for other students to compete with
them without this important training! Moreover, life threatening conditions,
dying, end-of-life care and death cannot be ignored anymore."
HIPPOCRATIC: 18 EXPERIMENTS IN GENTLY SHAKING THE WORLD
Moonshine Agency [http://moonshine.agency/] based in Australia
introduces you to the film _Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the
World_ [http://hippocraticfilm.com/] .
This is a feature film length biopic that uses the narrative of Dr. M R
Rajagopal to shine a light on the existing plight of people in India and other
developing countries in dire need of palliative care.
It is a powerful depiction of not just what the Hippocratic oath calls
upon the medical community to do, but also challenges the increasingly
profit-centric systems and the erosion of ethics that have transformed what
should be ‘health _care_’ into the ‘health _industry_’.
_Hippocratic’s _emphasis is on access to palliative care, social
justice and equitable healthcare. It is also a celebration of the indomitable
human spirit, and the power that we as an evolving society wield to lift up our
fellow humans from the depths of despair and darkness, into a life of dignity,
free of pain.
_Hippocratic_ is the work of Australia-based Moonshine Agency
[http://moonshine.agency/] , directed and produced by Mike Hill.
Dr. Rajagopal has just completed a screening tour across Australia,
where the film has been warmly received, amongst many accolades. The film is
being screened in different countries. Find a location near you:
Here are some reviews:
Film review: Hippocratic – 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World
India’s father of palliative care gently shakes Australia with his
insights and wisdom
The Hippocratic Oath
The _Hippocratic_ speaking tour kicks off in India in January 2018. If
you would like to host a screening in your city, please contact
For updates on Hippocratic, please follow on Facebook:
[https://www.facebook.com/hippocraticfilm/] or on Twitter:
For DVD online orders:
[https://store.moonshine.agency/products/hippocratic-dvd] . For Video on
IAPCON 2018 [HTTP://WWW.IAPCON2018.COM/]
The 25th Annual Conference of the Indian Association of Palliative Care
( IAPCON 2018 [http://www.iapcon2018.com/] ) will be held from 23rd to 25th
February, 2018, at Jawaharlal Auditorium, AIIMS, New Delhi. The theme of the
conference is CREATE, COLLABORATE AND COMMUNICATE.
Last date to submit abstracts: 30TH OCTOBER, 2017.
For more details on the Conference, please download the brochure
Visit the conference homepage: http://www.iapcon2018.com/
‘SAHAYATRA’: PALLIATIVE CARE AWARENESS RIDE
Pallium India, IAPC (Kerala), CET Cycle Club (CCC) and Indus Cycling
Embassy, Trivandrum jointly organized a palliative care awareness bicycle ride
from Mannarkad, Palakkad to Kovalam, Trivandrum. The event was flagged off on
September 29th and concluded at Udaya Samudra, Kovalam at 5p.m. on October 2nd.
The bicycle riders were welcomed warmly at each location by district palliative
care initiatives and palliative care enthusiasts. _(Image: When Sahayatra
Bicycle Riders reached Pallium India on October 2nd, our staff and volunteers
and well-wishers gathered to give them a warm welcome.)_
The program was organized to spread the message of palliative care to
the public, to declare palliative care as a right of every individual.
Young artist Anavadya [https://www.facebook.com/anavadyaartist/] , who
has always been a keen supporter of palliative care, enthralled everyone once
again with her caricature skills.
ADVANCED THERAPEUTICS COURSE FOR PALLIATIVE MEDICINE
Karunashraya, Bangalore is organizing a 2-day Advanced Therapeutics
Course for Palliative Medicine
* 18th and 19th November, 2017
* CME: 4 points.
* Course fees: Doctors: ₹2,000; Nurses: ₹1,000
[mailto:jeremy.johnson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] or maria@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
* To know more about topics and schedule, please click here…
ASKING FOR HELP IS A STRENGTH, NOT A WEAKNESS
Video of the Month: Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness
_Ashla Rani (right), Pallium India’s volunteer, writes:_ "
“I think you should accept it gracefully,” said Dr Rajagopal, when
someone expressed interest in helping me financially. That was the first time
anyone had suggested to me the idea of “accepting help gracefully”. Those were
my initial days in Pallium India.
In a recent TED video, Michele L. Sullivan describes how “ Asking for
help is a strength, not a weakness [https://ed.ted.com/on/DgfNuiTk] “. As a
person who asks for and receives help from several others on a day-to-day
basis, Dr Rajagopal’s and Michele Sullivan’s words have had a huge impact in my
life. It takes a lot of courage to accept my helplessness and ask for
assistance, whether it is to my best friend or to a stranger. In fact, it takes
more courage to accept each one of them with grace and to be grateful at the
end of the day for all the help received. And believe me, you are peaceful and
your life is beautiful when you are ready to ask for help and accept it
gracefully when offered.
Michele has rightly said that empathy is just a concept. The only shoes
you can truly walk in are your own. We are all a part of each other’s support
networks. With compassion, courage and understanding, we can walk side by side
and support one another…"
Please watch Michele Sullivan’s talk here: Asking for help is a
strength, not a weakness [https://ed.ted.com/on/DgfNuiTk]
COURT DECISION NOT NECESSARY TO WITHDRAW ARTIFICIAL LIFE SUPPORT: UK COURT OF
The UK Court of Protection has clarified
that decisions to withdraw life support treatment to patients in Permanent
Vegetative State (PVS) or Minimally Conscious State (MCS) need not always be
taken with judicial approval. It was held that if the decision was taken on
agreement between doctors and family members in accordance with the
professional guidelines, Court intervention was not a mandatory requirement.
Among the reasons:
* Treatment decisions up to and including the withholding and
withdrawal of life-support are taken by clinicians and families working
together in accordance with recognised good practice. All such decision cannot
be subject of external supervision;
* The decisions involving withdrawal of life supporting system are not
so different from other serious medical treatment decisions to justify a
* Cost and time of litigation process is a deterrent to the best
interests of the patient. The Court cited the case at hand as an example where
the patient had to be in life support for one year awaiting judicial decisions,
despite the fact that family and doctors firmly held that continuation of
treatment was not in her best interest; and
* The grave consequence and risk of error in an advance decision on
agreement by family and doctors, and the decision rendered by the court are not
Read more at: Court Proceedings Are Not Necessary For Withdrawing Life
Support –UK Court Of Protection
This judgement could be of some significance to us. In the absence of
any law on the subject in the country, we understand that a British court’s
decision may carry some influence over the decisions of the judiciary in India,
while deciding future cases including review petitions, if any.
DEATH IS INEVITABLE BUT IT DOES NOT MEAN WE SHOULD NOT CELEBRATE LIFE: A
REFLECTION OF THE BEFORE I DIE WALL IN BANGLADESH
Bangladesh along with Aastha, Telecare and Dhaka Medical College celebrated the
day by introducing the global participatory public art project: _‘BEFORE I
DIE’_ on the Medical College campus, where people expressed their aspirations
in life, something they want to fulfill before they die.
The wall is a movement that opens the conversation about death and
encourages people to start important healthcare conversations before they
As many who wrote on the wall expressed, they want a cancer free life,
a healthy life, and a disease free life before they die.
Read More ->
DONATE TO PALLIUM INDIA [HTTP://PALLIUMINDIA.ORG/DONATE/]
[http://palliumindia.org/donate] The money you give will pay for
essential free medicines for the poor, for their travel to the clinic or for
schooling of their children, or other forms of care. Please give whatever you
can. No amount is too small.
To donate, please visit: palliumindia.org/donate
Write to us: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] /
UPCOMING EVENTS [HTTP://PALLIUMINDIA.ORG/COURSES]
* NOV 6, 2017: Certificate course in Pain and Palliative Medicine for
Doctors and Nurses at these locations:
Hyderabad. Contact: mnj.palliative@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:mnj.palliative@xxxxxxxxx]
Trivandrum. Contact: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Ahmedabad. Contact: palliumindia.gcri@xxxxxxxxx
Mumbai. Contact: pallmeded75@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:pallmeded75@xxxxxxxxx]
Pune. Contact: prince.john@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:prince.john@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
New Delhi. Contact: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
* NOV 8, 2017: Extension for Community Health Outcome (ECHO) Season 2.
Topic: “Psychological interventions to pain management.” ECHO is an online
learning platform through knowledge and experience can be shared. For details
and to register, visit: http://palliumindia.org/courses/echo/
[http://palliumindia.org/courses/echo/] Contact: tipsecho@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
* NOV 18-19, 2017: Advanced Therapeutics Course for Palliative Medicine
at Karunashraya, Bangalore. Contact: jeremy.johnson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jeremy.johnson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] or maria@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
* Dec 18, 2017: Certificate Program in Palliative Auxiliary Nursing
(CPPAN) at Trivandrum, Kerala. Contact: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
* FEB 23, 2018: IAPCON 2018, Jawaharlal Auditorium, AIIMS, New Delhi.
Visit: http://www.iapcon2018.com/ [http://www.iapcon2018.com/]
* FEB 24, 2018: 8th Congress on PAIN – South Asian Regional Pain
Society. Last date to register: 1 January, 2018. Contact: bssp1997@xxxxxxxxx
[mailto:bssp1997@xxxxxxxxx] Website: www.bsspbd.com [http://www.bsspbd.com]
* MAY 30, 2018: 3rd ICPCN Conference, Durban, South Africa. Visit:
For details on these programs, contact: info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] . Find out more at: palliumindia.org/courses
JOIN OUR FACEBOOK PAGE [HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PALLIUMINDIA]
Pallium India’s Facebook page has over 5000 Likes. We regularly post
articles related to palliative care from around the world.
CLICK HERE TO LIKE OUR PAGE [HTTPS://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/PALLIUMINDIA] !
We’re also on Twitter: @palliumindia [https://twitter.com/palliumindia]
PALLIATIVE CARE INFORMATION CENTRE [HTTP://PALLIUMINDIA.ORG/INFO-CENTRE]
Contact Pallium India’s Information Centre (9 am to 12 noon) for
information related to palliative care and about establishments where such
facilities are available in India. Telephone: +91-9746745497 or E-mail:
Address: Pallium India, Arumana Hospital, Perunthanni, Trivandrum
For more details, please visit: http://palliumindia.org/info-centre/
WE ARE WITH YOU – A SPLENDID EVENING WITH RESIDENTS OF OUR HALF-WAY HOME
_Reshma Ramachandran, Medical Social Worker at Pallium India, writes:_
Our world will no more be a confined place to live, for people with
disability – if we all set our hearts to it.
Three patients under rehabilitation in Pallium India’s “half-way home”
enjoyed an evening seeing beautiful flowers, birds, animals and many other
fellow beings. This could not have been possible without a wheelchair friendly
vehicle donated by State Bank of India (SBI).
The happiness that springs in their eyes tells us how much and how long
they missed all such lovely things in life. One of the patients, with her
husband and little one, was so worried to sit for more than a few minutes but
the walk made her confident enough to sit for quite long and she is trying to
do her activities of daily living. As a social worker – indeed, as a human
being – I am very glad that I could also be a part of this change that made her
laugh and try.
The little we are able to do to make their days brighter is something
we cherish as an organization. We care for you and we are always with you, we
will not restrict you because we respect you.
Thanks to all my colleagues for making this happen; and I await more
such memorable days.
This wheelchair-friendly van
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSBjViJYNcc] was donated to Pallium India by
State Bank of India on July 1st, 2017, as part of their CSR activities. In the
words of Ashla Rani, volunteer for Pallium India, ( who is featured in this
video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSBjViJYNcc] ) “I always had people
around me to lift me and my wheelchair to a car and to take me wherever I
wanted to go. But now, this vehicle gives me the pleasure of wheeling myself
into it without worrying about hurting someone’s back. The difference is huge!
Yes, happy to be cared, happier to be more independent.”
_THANK YOU, SBI, FOR THIS VERY VALUABLE GIFT._