World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

Article excerpt

TO raise awareness and understanding of the needs of people living with life-limiting illness and their families, World Hospice and Palliative Care Day is celebrated on October 11 each year.

This year's theme "Hospice and Palliative Care: A Human Right'' highlights the fact that without access to the care they need, people with limited life expectancies suffer unacceptable levels of distress that amount to a violation of their human rights.

Every year, millions of people around the world living with a life-limiting illness experience unnecessary pain and distress, either unaware of or unable to access the care they need. It is often in the greatest areas of need, as in developing countries with high levels of disease and high mortality rates, that hospice and palliative care services are least known. In the earlier days, the hospice was rooted in the idea of offering a place of shelter and rest, or hospitality to weary and sick travelers. In recent decades, the term hospice is applied to specialized care for dying patients.

Today, hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of an incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible. As a philosophy of care, hospice accepts death as the final stage of life. …