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Palliative Care: An Urgent Need For Most Of The World

M. Rajagopal
Published 2007 · Medicine

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Around the world, many millions suffer from advanced incurable diseases. Pain and other symptoms as well as major emotional, social and existential problems cause enormous suffering. This adversely affects the relationship of the person with family and friends. The family’s suffering is real and usually neglected. Palliative care is ‘active total care’ aimed at improving the quality of life of the patient and the family. Palliative care is unavailable in most of the developing world; but some models of care have evolved. Service by non‐government organizations, with participation of the community has succeeded in developing models of quality care in some parts of the world. Involvement of the government, however, is needed to overcome legal and procedural barriers and to ensure coverage and integration of palliative care into routine health care. Palliative care services, including psychosocial support, improves the health of the family even when the patient is gone. Involvement of the community ensures sustainability and helps to spread the message of love and care in the society.
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