This new series introduces candidates for the European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) Board of Directors who will be standing for election (or in some cases re-election) in May 2015. We hope the blog posts provide an opportunity for candidates to explain more about themselves and how they might contribute to the EAPC and the palliative care community more generally. Board members are nominated by national associations or, in a few cases, by individual members. They are elected as individuals to service the EAPC for a four-year term, with one additional opportunity to be re-elected. The EAPC is keen to have Board members from all disciplines, at all stages of their career, and from all parts of Europe. The series starts today with a very well known international leader…
Professor Philip J Larkin, Joint Chair, Professor of Clinical Nursing (Palliative Care), University College Dublin School of Nursing Midwifery and Health Systems, and Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services, Harold’s Cross, Dublin, Ireland.
Everyone should do one crazy thing in their life. It will either be the best thing you ever did or the worst. My decision to stand for the European Association for Palliative Care Board as incoming President of EAPC is one of those crazy decisions I may yet live to regret!
For the past 26 years I have been trying to say something important about palliative care. As a nurse, I have always believed in our unique contribution to the discipline of palliative care. Our place at critical times in the lives of our patients is exactly what Cicely Saunders always valued – the presence of another as a place of security. I did not always want to be a nurse. In fact, I trained as a music teacher and specialised in Voice. It certainly helped with my ability to understand a number of European languages such as French, German and Italian. It also taught me how to speak clearly – I lost some of my Irish accent but that is not a bad thing because where I come from, you would need an interpreter anyway!
This is a critical period for palliative care. The vision of others has made EAPC key to the future of global palliative care. The appointment of a new CEO is exciting and the important work of the World Health Organization initiative, led by Professor Xavier Gomez-Batiste, are two things that means the EAPC will need a steady hand to steer the right path in the coming years. In my current work as an academic professor and Chair of the All-Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care, I have learnt a great deal about partnership, co-operation, negotiation and collaboration – all key skills that will be needed by the EAPC to strengthen its global position and to which, I feel, I can contribute. I am not unknown to the EAPC, having been Vice-President between 2003-2007. That experience and the many contacts and friendships I have in palliative care will assist me greatly in contributing to the work of the Board.
My life is a busy one. My wife, who is also an academic, and I, tend to meet at airports. If elected, I am sure that the coming years with the EAPC won’t change that. Living in the West of Ireland means that I am fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Usually we have to fight off the tourists in the summer. Outside work, the important things (beside my wife!) are my three donkeys and falconry. You can learn a lot from birds of prey!
I am in no doubt of the challenge that being a Board Member of the EAPC brings, but I am honoured to stand and be part of the future for palliative care.
Coming up on the EAPC blog…
Look out for more blog posts from our candidates in the run-up to the election.
Are you coming to Copenhagen?
Professor Philip J Larkin and Dr Carlo Peruselli will debate ‘Individual autonomy versus relational autonomy in the context of clinical care in different parts of Europe – what is best for palliative care?’ in the plenary session on Sunday 10 May 2015 at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care in Copenhagen, Denmark. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015
Vem a Copenhaga?
Vêmo-nos no 14o Congresso Mundial da Associação Europeia de Cuidados Paliativos – Copenhaga, Dinamarca, 8-10 Maio, 2015. Sigam-nos no Twitter @EAPCOnlus – o hashtag oficial do congresso é #eapc2015