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Indian doctors say end of life care 'a necessity'

7th November 2006

The Indian Association of Palliative Care has spoken out in support of the importance of good end of life care for patients.

Dr Sukdev Nayak, the organisation's national president-elect, has said that low levels of awareness about the importance of palliative care has led to the neglect of a system or mechanism to cater for patients.

He said that the control of pain and other distressing symptoms, as well as the provision of emotional and spiritual support for both patients and families, is necessary.

"Not only cancer patients but also those who suffer from Aids and other life limiting illness like motor neuron diseases require palliative care," said Dr Nayak.

"Special focus is needed to alleviate such suffering among the terminally ill."

The importance of end of life care is also increasingly recognised in the UK, where the government has set up a programme of investment and developments in this area.