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. 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7404818/

https://hospicecare.com/what-we-do/programs/advocacy-program/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28220023/#:~:text=Conclusion%3A%20Early%20palliative%20care%20significantly,before%20hospitalizations%20and%20intensive%20care.

https://eapcnet.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/the-case-for-palliative-care-advocacy-much-more-to-be-done/

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

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The US pipeline attack shows the energy sector must act now on cybersecurity. Here are 6 ways how

How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

Remarks by Commissioner Lenarčič on the deployment of EU Medical Teams to Italy

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

UN space-based tool opens new horizons to track land-use on Earth’s surface

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

UN agencies call for more resettlement and end to detention of asylum seekers in Libya

NextGenerationEU: Commission gets ready to raise up to €800 billion to fund the recovery

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Why financial services can kickstart Africa’s digital economy

Parliament approves seven-year EU budget 2021-2027

IMF: World cup and productivity

Connected Claims Europe on 18-19 September 2019, in association with The European Sting

A shocking new report reveals what we’ve done to the natural world

Bosnia and Herzegovina: EU allocates additional €3.5 million to support vulnerable refugees and migrants

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

Nothing about us without us: how youth empowerment creates lasting change in the climate meltdown

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

Dark spots on EU humanitarian aid spending

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Fuel crisis rapidly draining last ‘coping capacities’ of Palestinians in Gaza

MEPs hail minimum global corporate tax rate deal as historic

Closing VAT loopholes for sales through online platforms

COVID-19 Myths and Facts

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Brexit: €5 billion to help EU countries mitigate social and economic impact

Improvements to pension systems have made them better placed to deliver pensions

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme to further support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Bertelsmann Stiftung @ European Business Summit 2014: Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) needs balanced approach

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

This is the IMF’s latest take on the economy in 2020

EuroLat plenary in Panama: control of trade talks and fight against crime

Commission paralysed before the banking leviathan

Coronavirus: EU channels further support to Nepal and repatriates EU citizens

Vaccine hesitancy: a pregnancy related issue?

Impressions of China

Challenges in accessing Palliative Care from the perspective of Universal Health Coverage

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95%

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Partner countries get €3bn in loans to prop up economies affected by pandemic

Our food system is no longer fit for the 21st century. Here are three ways to fix it

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Team Europe: Digital4Development Hub launched to help shape a fair digital future across the globe

UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation in conflict across the Gaza-Israel border

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

More than speed: 5G could become the next big economic driver

Smart cities must pay more attention to the people who live in them

COVID-19 poses a dramatic threat to life in conflict zones

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