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Global Palliative Care: Reports from the Peripheries 2015-2020

 Category: General Hospice

This book introduces you to palliative care providers and patients around the world, at the peripheries — our outskirts — of hospitals and health systems whose mission is to cure and treat. Palliative care teams, sometimes even just one nurse, visit them in villages and “informal settlements” to deliver support, pain medicine, prayers, economic assistance if available, and most of all accompaniment in their final journey. The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing the tragic consequences of global under-resourcing of palliative care services and under-supply of essential medicines such as morphine. Although the critical care that is the focus of COVID19 responses can save a lot of patients, it won’t save all of them, and palliative care is essential to alleviate the physical, emotional, spiritual, and moral distress that accompany death and dying, especially at such unprecedented rates. These reports from the peripheries were were written pre-pandemic, and some were published as blogs, more journalistic than academic, to bring otherwise untold stories and narratives as testimony to the incipient global palliative care movement. As reports from different parts of the world, from distinct peripheries, they provide an intimate window into palliative care services and global palliative care advocacy, a seamless garment that reverences life while accepting the truth and sacramental nature of our mortality. Palliative care services can also reduce clinician distress, moral injury, and burnout, while helping families negotiate the grief they experience from the loss of loved ones, both in the pandemic and from incurable diseases. This book is for all people, as none of us are exempt.