Purpose: To develop an End of Life Care (EOLC) Policy for patients who are dying with an advanced life limiting illness. To improve the quality of care of the dying by limiting unnecessary therapeutic medical interventions, providing access to trained palliative care providers, ensuring availability of essential medications for pain and symptom control and improving awareness of EOLC issues through education initiatives. Evidence: A review of Country reports, observational studies and key surveys demonstrates that EOLC in India is delivered ineffectively, with a majority of the Indian population dying with no access to palliative care at end of life and essential medications for pain and symptom control. Limited awareness of EOLC among public and health care providers, lack of EOLC education, absent EOLC policy and ambiguous legal standpoint are some of the major barriers in effective EOLC delivery. Recommendations: Access to receive good palliative and EOLC is a human right. All patients are entitled to a dignified death. Government of India (GOI) to take urgent steps towards a legislation supporting good EOLC, and all hospitals and health care institutions to have a working EOLC policy • Providing a comprehensive care process that minimizes physical and non physical symptoms in the end of life phase and ensuring access to essential medications for pain and symptom control • Palliative care and EOLC to be part of all hospital and community/home based programs • Standards of palliative and EOLC as established by appropriate authorities and Indian Association of Palliative Care (IAPC) met and standards accredited and monitored by national and international accreditation bodies • All health care providers with direct patient contact are urged to undergo EOLC certification, and EOLC training should be incorporated into the curriculum of health care education.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health