Until breath becomes air, there is no limit to care

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Sara Ayoub, a Lebanese 20 years old third year medical student at the Lebanese University, Beirut. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

A palliative care physician Steve Pantilat reminds us that “even in the midst of chaos there is hope”.

Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from life threatening conditions such as cancer, heart failure, HIV, etc. It highlights one of the most important principles in medicine which is treating a person, rather than just “another medical condition”. It even addresses other issues faced by their families.

Nonetheless, it is still absent in many hospitals around the world. For that reason, it is important to advocate for palliative care.

Governments all around the world must cooperate with universities to integrate palliative care research and training as a main component in their ongoing and continuous education. They should also consider including palliative care within health financing systems. Therefore, access to opioid analgesics and basic technologies for pain relief must be available to all and so included within health insurance.

However, a government that does not realize the value of palliative care will not be encouraged to take such steps. Here comes the role of students, doctors, nurses, and civil society to raise awareness of people’s right to a better quality of life, until their last breath becomes air.

In fact, because advocating for palliative care requires wise decision makers, it is the youths’ job to educate voters so that they demand their representatives to develop palliative care programs in their districts. One of the ways to do this is to raise the voice of those who are directly affected by life-limiting conditions to ask for palliative care.

As a matter of fact, pain management is a fundamental step and promoting it can be done by individuals, but it is through institutions that it would be most effective. In other words, we should join palliative care organizations around us. This will allow us to engage with lawmakers and journalists that will help us to shed the light on the necessity of the inclusion of palliative care in UHC.

A study was conducted in 2017 to emphasize the importance of palliative care: a group of patients suffering from cancer, who were enrolled in a palliative care program, was compared with a control group of patients receiving standard care during the same period. Results showed that patients in the control group had significantly higher likelihood of ICU admission at the end of life and higher likelihood of death in the hospital.

In conclusion, people with serious illnesses know what is going on. Deep inside, they hope for a cure. Sometimes the cure is absent but that does not mean that hope is demolished, because with that desire of a cure coexist many other hopes that can come true. An old woman with a life threatening condition wishes to attend her daughter’s wedding in three months, and perhaps she will not make it until that time. Thus, her dream of seeing her daughter walking down the aisle is not impossible: the wedding can take place earlier, for the sake of the mother. And that is the kind of expectations that palliative care aims to achieve.

You see, we all know that the ship cannot sail forever; it shall reach the shore, but as long as we are on deck, let us make the best of it and enjoy the ride. 






About the author

Sara Ayoub is a Lebanese 20 years old third year medical student at the Lebanese University, Beirut. She is a general member of the Lebanese Medical Students International Committee also known as LeMSIC. Her aim is to benefit from her future medical career in order to reach out to the most vulnerable and defend human’s rights.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

INTERVIEW: UN’s top official in North Korea foresees ‘surge’ in humanitarian aid

Marco Polo’s Dream

Trump ‘used’ G20 to side with Putin and split climate and trade packs

Privatisation and public health: a question of Human Rights

One Day in Beijing

What does global health translate into?

Nearly a third of the globe is now on Facebook – chart of the day

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

Resolving banks with depositors’ money?

How the gig economy can transform farms in the developing world

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

Long live Eurozone’s bank supervisor down with the EU budget supremo

What is a CSO and does every company need one?

‘Young people care about peace’: UN Youth Envoy delivers key message to Security Council

The Bank of China at European Business Summit 2015

Sign language protects ‘linguistic identity and cultural diversity’ of all users, says UN chief

Afghanistan: Bring ‘architects’ of latest ‘appalling’ suicide bombing to justice, says deputy UN mission chief

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

The Chinese solar panels suddenly became too cheap for Europe

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

Using CO2 as an industrial feedstock could change the world. Here’s how

This new solar technology can be printed or woven into fabric

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

10 ways cities are tackling the global affordable housing crisis

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

EU-wide survey shows Europeans support the Conference on the Future of Europe

Pedro Sánchez: We must protect Europe, so Europe can protect its citizens

4 ways to build resilience to digital risks in the COVID-19 era

Abu Dhabi is investing $250 million in tech start-ups

Countries must rethink tariffs on bio-manufacturing

Plastic is a global problem. It’s also a global opportunity

“Prevention is better than cure”: the main goal of modern medicine

EU food watchdog: more transparency, better risk prevention

Global climate change: consequences for human health in Brazilian cities

Mobile Technology saving lives: changing healthcare systems with simple technology solutions

UN agency chiefs condemn Saudi-coalition led air strike that killed dozens in western Yemen

The cost of healthcare is rising in ASEAN. How can nations get the most for their money?

Activist Greta Thunberg gets preview of UNHQ ahead of climate summit

No better year for the EU’s weak chain links

Here’s how to rebut the climate doom-mongers

Understanding our own garden that we call mind

Cameron postpones speech in Holland

Cultural Intelligence: the importance of changing perspectives

European Parliament approves more transparency and efficiency in its internal rules

Wolfgang Schäuble: “Without European unification, there would be no German unity”

Economy and living standards of Gaza ‘eviscerated’ by crippling blockade – UN trade and development report

Guinea-Bissau needs ‘genuinely free and fair elections’ to break cycle of instability

COVID-19: EU co-finances the delivery of more protective equipment to China

Portugal wants its emigrants back – so it’s paying them to return

Team Europe increased Official Development Assistance to €66.8 billion as the world’s leading donor in 2020

Livelihoods of millions in East and Southeast Asia at risk from Swine Fever epidemic

Humanity ‘at a crossroads’ as damage to planet poses growing risk to health, UN environment agency warns

The secret weapon in the fight for sustainability? The humble barcode

11 ways to align global economic governance with green new deal

Illegal fishing: EU lifts Taiwan’s yellow card following reforms

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s