Last Resort

From Pallium India Newsletter

In India, there is a fight-to-the-death mentality about treating the terminally ill. There are no legal provisions for living wills, or for withholding or withdrawing advanced life support. Doctors treating a patient who is past the point of being able to make her own decisions are bound to obey the wishes of her relatives, who typically opt to use all possible means to prolong her life, no matter how artificial that life might be. Terminally ill patients’ own previously stated wishes are often ignored. Even doctors who treat terminally ill patients don’t receive training in end-of-life care. The Medical Council of India has yet to include palliative care in the national curriculum of medical education, whether at the undergraduate or postgraduate level…read more