Intended for healthcare professionals


Lack of palliative care causes unnecessary suffering for India’s terminally ill people

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 28 October 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4404
  1. Peter Moszynski
  1. 1London

    Although India is one of the world’s leading suppliers of medical opium, many thousands of its citizens experience excruciating pain every year because they do not have access to the drug, says a report published this week by the charity Human Rights Watch.

    It says that most cancer hospitals, including those that receive direct support from the government to offer cancer care, do not have morphine or doctors trained in using it.

    Lead researcher Diederik Lohman told the BMJ, “This is despite the fact that more than 70% of their patients are incurable and likely to require pain treatment and palliative care.

    “Many of the patients we interviewed for our study …

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