Media Watch 534

Attached is the current issue of Media Watch (#534).

 

Of particular Interest:

 

Addressing a patient’s hope for a miracle

JOURNAL OF PAIN & SYMPTOM MANAGEMENT | Online – 10 October 2017 – Ill patients may make decisions to continue aggressive life-prolonging care based on hope for a miraculous recovery, and clinicians can find goals of care discussions with these patients extremely challenging. Thus, palliative care (PC) providers may be asked to help in these discussions. The concept of “miracle” can express a multitude of hopes, fears, and religious commitments. Effective, sensitive engagement requires the PC provider to attend to these variegated hopes, fears, and commitments. This case presents a typology of ways patients express hope for a miracle along with analysis of the motivations and beliefs underlying such hopes and suggestions for tailored responses by PC providers. 

 

The Lancet Commission report

Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief : An imperative of universal health coverage
 

THE LANCET | Online – 12 October 2017 – The lack of global access to pain relief and PC throughout the life cycle constitutes a global crisis, and action to close this divide between rich and poor is a moral, health, and ethical imperative. The need for PC and pain relief has been largely ignored. Yet, PC and pain relief are essential elements of universal health coverage (UHC). This Lancet Commission aims to: 1) Quantify the heavy burden of serious health-related suffering associated with a need for PC and pain relief; 2) Identify and cost an essential package of PC and pain relief health services that would alleviate this burden; 3) Measure the unmet need of an indispensable component of the package – off patent, oral, and injectable morphine; and, 4) Outline national and global health-systems strategies to expand access to PC and pain relief as an integral component of UHC while minimising the risk of diversion and non-medical use.