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End of Life Care.


I AM GOING TO DIE ONEDAY, the one affirmation I have for myself everyday these days. This statement brings me positivity, gives me courage, spurs me on to do better in life. I start wanting to do good right from the time I wake up. This can be classed as a negative thought but for me it is a positive one.

Death is a hard thing to get over, may be we can never get over it. I have to explain to myself it is inevitable but that does not help. As a doctor can I make death better though. We talk about dignity while alive but there needs to be dignity in death too.

As a general practitioner we put a lot of stress on end of life care. Make the last days of a person as comfortable as possible for patients and their families. The whole team is geared towards it. Reception staff, practice nurses, district nurses, cancer care nurses and of course the doctors work towards achieving high standards of care for palliative patients.

I was talking to my mother about palliative care and hospice in India. She can understand the concept but does not understand how it can be done. We got talking about a relative who recently died with cancer and she was in a lot of pain due to bone metastasis and bed sores. In Patna to get morphine is a huge issue, relatives need special scripts and only few places can dispense it. Hospice is no where to be seen.

Letting somebody die in peace and comfort with full dignity can be a successful medical approach to patient care. I absolutely wish this can be taken forwards in Patna and all over India.

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