Report from the International Congress on Palliative Care
Please read below for a report from one of our members who attended the International Congress on Palliative Care September 9th - 12th.
I had the good fortune to attend the International Congress on Palliative Care in Montreal last week. It was an excellent 4 days of education with many good speakers, and an international focus that we, in the US, tend to put less import on.
The first plenary speaker was Stephen Lewis, who is a Canadian politician, journalist, and diplomat. He has worked at the United Nations in many capacities, in particular as the UN's special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa. (If you're really interested in who this guy is, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Lewis). He was a dynamic speaker and the bottom line of his talk was that the United Nations is in the process of drafting new Sustainable Development goals and as of today, nowhere is palliative care mentioned in the draft document. He reiterated the point that what's in this document gets paid attention to. The fact that Palliative Care is NOT in the document could have international negative ramifications for a very long time.
A group of leaders at the conference met and crafted the Montreal Declaration on Hospice Palliative Care that calls for the UN to recognize palliative care as an essential component of national health systems, and, as such, call for the inclusion of hospice palliative care in the document. Signatures are needed from around the world to draw attention to this issue and to promote revisions in the document before it is ratified.
Please take a few minutes to go to www.palliativecare.ca to read the Montreal Declaration and sign it. Feel free to forward this message to any and all colleagues and government representatives. There is strength in numbers.
Kerstin Lappen, RN, MS, CNS, ACHPN