APHN Bursaries for APHC 2015 available for application


Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network Bursary for Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2015


Dear APHN members

Greetings to you all!

The APHN has made available 8 bursaries to attend the 11th Asia Pacific Hospice Conference that is to be held in Taipei on 30th April to 2nd May 2015. Priority will be given to members from resource limited countries to attend the APHC. The successful applicant will receive support of up to SGD 1,250 to cover the conference registration, travel and accommodation.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Must be a current individual member of APHN
  • Nomination supported by 2 other APHN members
  • Must work in a palliative care service
  • Must submit a report on the benefits of attendance within 3 months after attending APHC

Applications must be submitted online here by the application deadline 8 March 2015.

The successful applicants will be notified by email by 15th March 2015. The disbursement of monies by the APHN Secretariat will be on a reimbursement basis on receipt of original receipts and/or invoices.

1st Online forum Discussion on Paediatric Palliative Care


APHN has set up our very own online forum platform for discussion on palliative care issues. We hope the forum can serve as a contact point to link individuals involved in palliative care to foster collaboration, share knowledge and start discussions in this area. The 1st forum discussion topic will focus on Paediatric Palliative Care. The forum will be accessible for members to log in from 31 January. Click here to view the forum.


Advance planning in pediatric hospice/palliative care

A new edition of the E-journal from NHPCO’s Children’s Project on Palliative/Hospice Services that examines selected issues in advance planning in pediatric hospice/palliative care is now available for download, free of charge.

These articles argue for the value of advance planning, describe tools for that purpose, explain how to initiate advance planning conversations, and indicate who should be involved in this care. Because this is a very important subject, the ChiPPS E-Journal Workgroup has decided to devote two issues to these discussions – this is the first of the two issues.

Workgroup editors commented, “We appreciate that no two issues or collections of articles will do justice to these broad topics, but we hope that the articles in this issue and in the one to follow will spur discussion and implementation of advance planning as a cooperative enterprise with children, adolescents, their family members, and the professionals involved in their care.”

To download the E-journal, click on the link above or click here.

Malaysian College of Physicians Annual Scientific Meeting

Annual Scientific Meeting 2015
“Fulfilling the Duties of a Physician to Relieve and Comfort”

The Malaysian College of Physicians Annual Scientific Meeting will focus entirely on palliative medicine and end of life care, with the theme being ‘Fulfilling the Duties of a Physician to Relieve and Comfort. APHN Chairman Dr Cynthia Goh is the keynote speaker.

Date: 10th – 12th April 2015

Location: T J Danaraj Auditorium, Medical Academies of Malaysia

210 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur

Who Should Attend?

  • Specialists
  • General practitioners
  • Medical officers
  • Medical students
  • Allied health professionals
  • Other professionals

Registration Fees

Registration fees are in RM and there is no additional cost for foreign participants. Fees may vary from person to person.

For more information, click here. To download the registration form, click here.

APHN would like to thank our council member, Dr Richard Lim, Chairman of Malaysia Hospice Council, for providing this update to us.

Providing Palliative Care in Pakistan – The Difficulties

Written by Fr. Robert McCulloch, Home-Based Palliative Nursing at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Hyderabad, Pakistan

In Pakistan terminally-ill patients are treated as sources of income by the medical profession and the hospital culture. Their illness is not relieved and the financial situation of their families is wrecked as they seek for a cure or for pain relief.

In 2005 the administrative council of St. Elizabeth Hospital, of which I was chairman until November 2011, began discussing the need for and the possibility of commencing home-based palliative care for the terminally ill at Hyderabad, a city of 4,000,000 in the south-east of Pakistan. Its introduction has enabled St. Elizabeth Hospital to continue to offer in a very new way the best possible care at the lowest possible cost to those in need and to manifest compassion and mercy in a practical and outstanding way in Pakistan. At St. Elizabeth Hospital, we are convinced that the best and only answer to violence is compassion.

As of November 2014, St. Elizabeth’s Palliative Care visits 30 terminally ill patients. Nineteen are in terminal condition stage 4, nine in stage 3, and 2 are undergoing chemotherapy and radiography. 20 are male and 10 female. 18 are Muslim, 9 Christian, and 3 Hindu.

An important benefit of St. Elizabeth’s home-based palliative care service is that it facilitates inter-faith harmony through the caring ministry of committed Christian nurses, male and female, in the homes of people of different faiths, and through the meeting and mutual support of the religious ministers of Muslim, Christian and Hindu patients. The palliative care team comprises four male nurses, one female nurse, and a doctor.

In preparation for beginning the palliative care at St. Elizabeth Hospital, one of the nurses, Patras Inayat, completed a year-long Certificate in Palliative Care Nursing at Calvary-Bethlehem Hospital, Melbourne, in 2011. Members of St. Vincent de Paul conferences arranged accommodation and hospitality for Patras in Melbourne. Another nurse, Eric Siraj, completed his specialized Certificate in Pediatric Nursing in Hyderabad and further course-work in pediatric oncological nursing at the Children Cancer Hospital in Karachi. He went to Assisi Hospital, Singapore, in March-May 2012 for further palliative care training. This training and linkage has been on-going. St. Elizabeth Hospital is a member of Singapore-based APHN [Asia Pacific Hospice Network]. In August 2014, the administrator of St. Elizabeth Hospital, James Francis, and the head of the Palliative Care Department, Patras Inayat, attended the Catholic Health Australia annual conference in Brisbane. An outcome of their visit is that professional development linkages have been established with Cabrini Hospital, Melbourne.

The Palliative Care Department at St. Elizabeth Hospital depends on donations. The Melbourne Overseas Mission of the archdiocese of Melbourne helped to purchase a small car to enable the palliative care nurses to visit patients. Some of the equipment such as syringe drivers for continuous pain-killing medication is expensive. The families of patients have little, there is no insurance cover, and the government gives nothing.

11th Annual Paediatric Palliative Care Symposium

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

11th Annual Paediatric Palliative Care Symposium

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Updates, Elder Wisdom, CAM, Mindfulness

Brief Details

Date     Thursday, 5 March 2015

Time       8.30am – 4.20pm (Registration from 8am)

Venue    Lorimer Dods Lecture Theatre

The Children’s Hospital at Westmead

Cnr Hawkesbury & Hainsworth Avenue, Westmead   NSW   2145


Detailed Schedule

0800-0830 Registration 1200-1300 Lunch
0830-0900 UpdatesBear Cottage Update (Narelle Martin)Very Special Kids Update (Sarah Hosking) 1300-1400 The evidence for complementary and alternative medicines in paediatrics (Lonnie Zeltzer)
0900-0930 Reflections on social work practice in paediatric palliative care (Jess Jamieson)   Brief break
0930-1000 What I have learnt about the political process and palliative care (Sue Hanson) 1410-1440 Paediatric palliative care and the struggle to find wisdom (Jen Hyson, RCH Melbourne)
1000-1030 Morning Tea 1440-1510 The lessons of a long medical practice in palliative care and the wisdom gained (Rosalie Shaw)
1030-1100 Palliative sedation in children (Nicole Armitage) 1510-1540 Afternoon tea
1100-1200 Physician assisted suicide and palliative care (Rod Macleod) 1540-1620 Mindfulness in clinical practice (Lonnie Zeltzer)
    1620 Conclusion


For more information, click here and for the registration form, click here.

Ban on Dextropropoxyphene in India

Butola S, Rajagopal M. Ban on dextropropoxyphene is unjustifiable. Indian Journal of Palliative Care 2015;21:3-7

In this article, Dr Savita Butola and APHN Vice-Chairman, Dr M. R. Rajagopal, argue why the ban on dextropropoxyphene in India should be withdrawn. The ban on Dextropropoxyphene, taking away the only inexpensive Step II analgesic, was an action that follow suit the withdrawal of this drug in the UK, the US and in European Union. Each country had a different reason for banning it, and India followed with one act on 23rd May 2013. According to Dr Savita Butola and Dr M. R. Rajagopal, the ban on dextropropoxyphene resulted due to the sheer misunderstanding of facts, and that this ban has resulted in a huge burden of suffering. Furthermore, it was emphasised that the only other Step II opioid available is about ten times more expensive.

Read the full article by clicking on the blue link above.

Source Pallium India
Summary provided by: Ng Shi Hui

Pediatric advance care planning from the perspective of health care professionals: A qualitative interview study

Draft 1Lotz, J. D., Jox, R. J., Borasio, G. D., & Führer, M. (2014). Pediatric advance care planning from the perspective of health care professionals: A qualitative interview study. Palliative medicine, 0269216314552091.


Background: Pediatric advance care planning differs from the adult setting in several aspects, including patients’ diagnoses, minor age, and questionable capacity to consent. So far, research has largely neglected the professionals’ perspective.

Aim: We aimed to investigate the attitudes and needs of health care professionals with regard to pediatric advance care planning.

Design: This is a qualitative interview study with experts in pediatric end-of-life care. A qualitative content analysis was performed.

Setting/participants: We conducted 17 semi-structured interviews with health care professionals caring for severely ill children/adolescents, from different professions, care settings, and institutions.

Results: Perceived problems with pediatric advance care planning relate to professionals’ discomfort and uncertainty regarding end-of-life decisions and advance directives. Conflicts may arise between physicians and non-medical care providers because both avoid taking responsibility for treatment limitations according to a minor’s advance directive. Nevertheless, pediatric advance care planning is perceived as helpful by providing an action plan for everyone and ensuring that patient/parent wishes are respected. Important requirements for pediatric advance care planning were identified as follows: repeated discussions and shared decision-making with the family, a qualified facilitator who ensures continuity throughout the whole process, multi-professional conferences, as well as professional education on advance care planning.
Conclusion: Despite a perceived need for pediatric advance care planning, several barriers to its implementation were identified. The results remain to be verified in a larger cohort of health care professionals. Future research should focus on developing and testing strategies for overcoming the existing barriers.

Read the free full text article from SAGE Open Access at the link here.

Palliative care – an appropriate response to childhood cancer

CPCN calls on health authorities around the world to recognise the importance of palliative care as an appropriate response to the diagnosis of cancer in children.

240215The ICPCN believes that children and families faced with a cancer diagnosis should be provided with the very best care possible and should never have to walk this difficult journey alone. They must be provided with the support of people who fully comprehend the challenges they will face and are trained to do everything possible to ease the burden of the disease on the affected children and those who love them.Too many medical professionals hold on to the mythical belief that palliative care is only appropriate when all curative measures have failed, leading to patients and families missing out on the comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate care that a palliative care team provides, irrespective of the outcome of the treatment.Commenting on the importance of recognising the need for palliative care for children with cancer, Joan Marston, CEO of the ICPCN says, “Children with cancer remain children and deserve the best possible quality of life while living with their condition. Palliative care, available from the time of diagnosis, through an holistic approach to care of the child and family, can help to control pain and other distressing symptoms – physical, emotional and spiritual, and help the child live as well as possible, as long as possible.” …read more.

From ehospice

Dr Joan Marston is part of our APHN paediatric forum team leading a discussion on “Who should be referred to Paediatric Palliative Care?”. Click here to join the forum.

31st SHC Postgrad Course in Palliative Medicine


Who should attend?

Any doctor (medical officer, specialists or family-physician) who is interested to learn about palliative care.

Venue, Facilities and Fee

  • HCA Hospice Care, Level 3, Auditorium, 12 Jalan Tan Tock Seng (308437)
  • Fee: S$400 (for Early Bird Registration by 2 Mar 2015, FAMS & SMA members at all times) or S$500 (for registration from 3 Mar onwards)

Registration and payment method

Please click the following link https://lcpc.duke-nus.edu.sg/education/31st-shc-postgraduate-course for online registration and payment by 23 Mar 2015.

Top 10 Palliative and Supportive Care journal articles free to download

Cambridge Journals has offered complimentary access to the top ten most downloaded articles published in 2013 and 2014 in the journal: ‘Palliative and & Supportive Care’.


Article titles include:

  1. Early integration of palliative care in hospitals: A systematic review on methods, barriers, and outcome
  2. The experiences, coping mechanisms, and impact of death and dying on palliative medicine specialists
  3. Pain relief, spiritual needs, and family support: Three central areas in intercultural palliative care

All ten articles are available on the Cambridge Journals website and will be free to download until 28 February 2015…read more

From ehospice

Healing the healers, coping with burnout – Thai Palliative Care Society Pal2Know workshop held in Thailand

Written By: APHN Member Tharin Phewan

Healthcare providers and volunteers across Thailand gathered to share their thoughts and vulnerable experiences during the fourth Thai Palliative Care Society (THAPS) Pal2Know workshop entitled: ‘Healing the Healers’ at Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.

Burnout syndrome, an overlooked issue in palliative care, is the main topic of this 4th tacit knowledge management event hosted by thePal2Know team, one of the projects supported by APHN organizational member Thai Palliative Care Society and Thai Health Promotion Foundation.

The need for this workshop is great. As one workshop participant put it: “I have been taking care of palliative care patients for as long as I could remember but who’s going to watch over me?” read more

From ehospice

Palliative care for those with neurological conditions

Palliative Care Australia and members of the Neurological Alliance Australia have released a position statement defining the organisations’ principles on the provision of palliative care and care planning for people with neurological conditions.

The statement was released at one of PCA’s popular lunchbox briefings hosted at Parliament House in Canberra by the Parliamentary Friends of End of Life Care group this week. CarolBirks, National Executive Director, Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Australia and PCA President and APHN Council Member Professor Patsy Yates carried out the official proceedings.They were followed by presentations from two “consumers”, Robyn Kapp OAM, Executive Officer for Huntington’s NSW and Andrew Potter, from MS Australia’s National Advocates Program.


Robyn spoke of her own experiences with Huntington’s disease and the lack of palliative care for many members of her family – her grandfather, father and sister – as their health declined. Of the need for recognition of the plight of Huntington’s sufferers, “Light a candle,” she said, “so all families don’t have to face the darkness.”  read more

From ehospice