Filippo Laurenti, Hospice Anemos, Torino, Laura Campanello and Cinzia Martini, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Milano, Italy.
Being part of a European Association Palliative Care Taskforce is quite a tough task. To make it work, you have to lean between the inside and the outside. For being part of a taskforce is all about thresholds. That is to say: you have to be part of the framework, of the system, you work in every day and, at the same time, you have to step outside of it to see things objectively. That is not easy.
Writing our report on spiritual care in palliative care in Italy, (just published in the November issue of the ‘European Journal of Palliative Care’) we felt the uneasiness of being on a threshold. Describing from a distance the environment in which we live, we work, we struggle, is not easy. And yet, if you happen to do it, you’ll be repaid. Some key issues will arise and your gaze will get clearer as you keep looking around you. You’ll see that religion works both as a strength and as a burden; you’ll realise that there is a lack of specific training and clear curricula for professionals; you’ll see the goals are not clear when it comes to the outcome of spiritual care in palliative care interventions; you’ll experience the lack of a national network.
Heinz Von Foerster once described his own ‘categorical imperative’ this way:
“I always ask myself to act in a way that increases the number of possibilities before us.”1
This was the aim of our report. We do hope it will encourage dialogue among all the stakeholders, and help to stretch the boundaries of our visions, to find inspiration, to give us strength and gentleness in our daily efforts to create a better environment in end of life care programmes and to support everyone involved: patients, families, caregivers and professionals.
1. Heinz Von Foerster and Bernhard Porksen. Wahrheit ist die Erfindung eines Lugners, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 1998. It. trans.: La verità è l’invenzione di un bugiardo, Meltemi, Roma, 2001, p. 33.
To find out more…
- The article to which this post relates is ‘Implementing spiritual care in palliative care: Italy’ by Filippo Laurenti, Laura Campanello and Cinzia Martini, and is published in the November 2012 issue of the European Journal of Palliative Care 19 (6): 274-275. If you already have a web-based subscription to the EJPC you will be able to download and print this issue, plus all articles in the EJPC archive.
- Members of the EAPC receive discounted subscription rates to the EJPC – click here to find out more and subscribe online.
- You can read more about the Taskforce on Spiritual Care or view more information on other EAPC taskforces – we’ll also be bringing you regular updates from our taskforces via this blog.