Topic of the month

Palliative Care

What is palliative care?

It is the branch of medicine defined as the integral and interdisciplinary care that is provided to the patient and his family when a life-threatening condition is diagnosed, regardless of the outcome.

In the case of the patient’s death, the palliative caregivers keep helping the family through the grieving process.

What is its purpose

Palliative care purpose is to improve the quality of life of patients and their loved ones when they face the challenges typical of a life-threatening diagnosis. It prevents and alleviates suffering through the early identification, evaluation and correct treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.

What do the palliative caregivers do?

  • They provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary care to the patient and his family, when there is a condition endangering life.
  • They contain, accompany, listen, translate the language of the healing team to the patients and their loved ones; they advise them to making decisions; they coordinate the logistics of the patient’s care; and they are intermediaries between patients and their loved ones.
  • They eliminate the taboos of the patient and his family as to the disease, the pain, the death, the farewell and the grieving, thus allowing to create a loving end of life.

Articles about Palliative Care

Palliative care and dignified death in the Mexican Constitution →

El Semanario

Last July 1st, a reform promoted by Senator Miguel Ángel Mancera was approved unanimously by the Senate to incorporate palliative care and the use of controlled medicines for it in Article 4 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States…

IPN promotes palliative care speciality →

Instituto Politécnico Nacional

To improve palliative care in terminally ill patients, the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) seeks to promote a specialty in that area, so it works on the design of the academic program that it intends to implement together with the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS)…

Featured notes

Assisting a suicide is not always a crime, rules Italian court

The Guardian

Italy’s constitutional court has ruled it was not always a crime to help someone in “intolerable suffering” kill themselves, opening the way for a change of law in the Catholic country. Parliament is now expected to debate the matter, which was highlighted by the Milan trial of an activist who helped a tetraplegic man die in Switzerland…

For the Right to Die With Dignity, N.P.A. (DMD) →

El Semanario

In different countries of the world there are associations that defend the right to die with dignity, and that in English are known as right-to-die societies. Although the name of many of them involves the idea of “right”, “death” and “dignity”, there is a great variety of names to refer to the idea of having a good end of life, to the possibility of deciding how and when to die, and to have the necessary assistance to die well…

Toronto 2019: Susan Sarandon voices support for assisted dying →

BBC News

Susan Sarandon has voiced her support for assisted dying after taking on the role of a terminally ill woman. The actress’s new movie Blackbird sees her play a mother named Lily who gathers her family to tell them of her wish to die. “It’s an individual choice,” the actress told reporters at the Toronto Film Festival…

Palliative care and dignified death in the Mexican Constitution

El Semanario

Last July 1st, a reform promoted by Senator Miguel Ángel Mancera was approved unanimously by the Senate to incorporate palliative care and the use of controlled medicines for it in Article 4 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States…

To think

Use of Traditional Medicine and Marijuana, in the New Health Law →

La Jornada

The medical and therapeutic use of marijuana and its byproducts, the dignified death, as well as the preservation and recovery of traditional indigenous medicine are rights established in the local Constitution that will have to be integrated into the initiative of a new health law that will be presented to the Mexico City Congress during the next normal legislative session…

Death Is Inevitable; a Bad Death Is Not →

El Universal – Arnoldo Kraus (Doctor)

In April 29, 2017, The Economist, the famed British magazine, incited its readers: How life ends. Dying is inevitable, dying badly is not. The title and the subject stimulate. The endless and changing ideas on the subject deserve to reflect. Dying with dignity is not a political or religious issue: it’s a human predicament. Its actors, doctors and individuals have the obligation to modify the laws in force regarding medically assisted suicide. When facing rough issues, health professionals move slowly; on the other hand, society, especially the one that brings together free thinkers, does it better; there are plenty of reasons to demand…

¡Congratulations DMD Colombia, 40 years!

Carmenza Ochoa, Executive Director of DMD Colombia, and Asunción Álvarez of DMD Mexico, and Dr. Ana Isabél Gómez Córdoba, president of DMD Colombia

Glossary

Advance Will

It is a way allowing a competent person to put in writing his will concerning the treatments he would want or he would not want to receive if he were to find himself in a situation where he could not express his will himself. The advance directive comes into force when the person becomes unable to make those decisions.

Assisted Suicide

It is the help that a doctor gives to a patient in response to his request, and it consists in providing him with the means to put an end to his life. The help may be to give him a prescription for a lethal dose of a drug or the drug itself. The patient himself executes the final action that causes death.

Euthanasia

Etymologically it means “good death”, and it refers to the action that a doctor performs to induce the death of a patient who has freely requested it because he is enduring an intolerable suffering for which there is no relief, and that is caused by a disease or a medical condition for which there are no healing options.

Palliative Care

It is the active and total care of those patients who do not respond to a healing treatment, in which it is a priority to provide relief through the treatment of pain and other symptoms, as well as to care for the psychological, social and spiritual aspects.

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