End-of-life care concerns us all. We need to talk about dying with dignity as it is an important part of life. Quality of death matters as much as quality of life.
The quality of death index in the 2010 report on a study commissioned by Lien Foundation ranked India the lowest among 40 countries. How we care for life at the end is a good indicator of our society’s health.
Critical care has an important role in conditions that are reversible. However, when these measures cease to have the desired effect, they only serve to prolong the process of dying.
It is important to recognise this process and the distress associated with it. At this stage, palliative care can help to preserve quality of life, reduce pain and suffering, and maintain dignity.
October 9, 2014 is the Foundation Day of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM). The theme this year is “We must know when to stop.” On October 11, the Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) celebrates the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day and the theme is “Achieving universal coverage of palliative care: Who cares? We do!”
This year, ISCCM and IAPC have come together in a path-breaking partnership to create greater awareness about end-of-life care. We have already published a joint position statement An integrated care plan for the dying. Now, we are taking the movement forward and launching this campaign: “Together we choose”.
Let us all work together for a good life, for a good death. Let us make a beginning with this campaign.