It’s not just about reading… get inspired to act!
Esther Schmidlin, EAPC board member and a nurse consultant, Equipe Mobile en Soins Palliatifs, Reseau Ascor, Vevey, Switzerland
Keeping up with important news and information about palliative care can be an overwhelming task. It’s difficult and time-consuming to read carefully the patient reports as well as various specialist literature for my everyday work as a nurse consultant and educator in a mobile palliative care team. Staying on top of the activities and new knowledge in palliative care on a European level is challenging enough – let alone a global level!
The new EAPC Blog, I thought, would be just one more publication or news portal that adds to the pile of my ‘reading duties’. However, the short, but informational blog entries have left me surprisingly stimulated and motivated. I soon realised that it gave me a quick overview of what is going on in palliative care – not only in Europe but also on an international level. The personal notes of the different experts and professionals working in the field made me explore interesting topics further – even when they were not related directly to my own work. For example, by clicking on the link, I was able to watch excerpts of the film “LIFE Before Death” on YouTube. Needless to say, it is an incredibly moving documentary and it is almost impossible not to respond to it.
How can I support the movement to improve restricted access to morphine? How can I help resource-poor countries to allow the people in need to access palliative care and pain relief? To start with, I’ve ordered the DVD “LIFE Before Death” and invited colleagues in the educational field to do likewise. We decided to dedicate a certain amount of time in our palliative care courses and seminars to raise awareness and discuss the issue with our students. The opportunity to sign the Morphine Manifesto will certainly be one way to support the cause, but it is not enough. In a resource-rich country like ours, it should be possible to raise some money – be it with private or public viewings of the film or through articles and blogs in newspapers and journals. There are several organisations that accept donations for this cause, for example Pallium India, a national registered charitable trust, or the African Palliative Care Association , where it is possible to have a quick overview of how donations are being used. Other possibilities can be found on the site for the film, LIFE before Death
There is so much that still needs to be done in order to reduce people’s unnecessary suffering. Being engaged in addressing those issues at home deepens my awareness and knowledge about what is meaningful, it also gives me a deeper feeling of sense in life. As Victor E. Frankle said:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Let’s make a difference where we can!
PS The clip “50 milligrams is not enough” is also an eye opener: (Part of a series of three short films made for the Open Society Foundations documenting human rights abuses in health care settings.)