Opinion Podcast The Pragati Podcast

Palliative care: Treating the Person, Not the Disease

A patient with a brain tumor playing with his mother in the palliative care ward in the Regional Cancer Centre in Trivandrum, Kerala, India. Photo: Evan Duggan / Flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal of Pallium India talks to host Pavan Srinath about Palliative care, what it means and how we can ease suffering and pain for millions of Indians, on Episode 139 of The Pragati Podcast.

Palliative care focuses on quality of life of patients, especially those facing life-threatening illnesses, and involves treating pain, alleviating suffering and managing other challenges. Palliative care is a distant priority in India, where even primary and preventive care take a back-seat to curative, hospital-centric, and disease-oriented treatment.

Over the last decade, India has changed draconian laws that have prevented deserving patients from accessing pain medication like Morphine. However, the legal changes remain on paper in many places. Inexpensive opioid pain relief remains a distant dream for most Indians, often in the name of preventing abuse.

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal is the founder-chairman of Pallium India and director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, which is a WHO Collaborating Centre for Training and Policy on Access to Pain Relief. Dr. Rajagopal has worked through the length of his career to establish palliative care and its importance in India, provide relief to innumerable Indians both directly and indirectly. He was honoured with a Padma Shri by the Republic of India in 2018 for his efforts.

You can visit the Pallium India website to learn more.

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