The World Health Organization defines palliative care as care that “improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial, and spiritual.”
Not every end-of-life patient ends up seeing a palliative care specialist/doctor. Yet doctors in all fields see patients who can benefit from palliative training. To address this field of medical care, SANJEEVAN organizes foundation courses for doctors, trainee doctors and faculty of medical colleges and hospitals. As a part of the course, doctors—current and future—learn to care for patients with a great range of illnesses, of all ages and in all settings. Contrary to misconceptions, palliative care is about far more than helping those dying; rather it is about enabling patients and families to make the most of living.
On April 20–22, 2017, SAJEEVAN conducted a Foundation Course for 15 doctors, trainee doctors and faculty from various departments of Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute (IGGGC & PGI), Puducherry.
The doctors were made aware that providing care, with emphasis on quality of life, for patients and their carers faced with a life-limiting illness is one of the most rewarding roles of a doctor. It requires the medical professionals to use empathy and pragmatism, as well as science, to make the right clinical decisions. The programme also made these doctors cognizant of how to interact with a family in such cases and help them make informed end-of-life decisions. They were shown presentations of how SANJEEVAN coordinators and volunteers are providing palliative care through home visits and awareness generation among various social groups in the community.