This new series introduces candidates for the European Association for Palliative Care 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 continues today with Dr Josep Porta Sales, Head of Research and Education in Palliative Care, at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, and Director of ‘WeCare’ at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Spain.
I am delighted to have the opportunity to introduce myself to my EAPC colleagues. I was born on Christmas Day in 1957 in Lleida: the city that hosted the last World Research Congress of the EAPC.
I’m an internal medicine specialist, and in 1986 my mentor, Dr Francesc Ferrer Ruscalleda, suggested that I should get information about hospices. At that time, I didn’t know exactly what palliative care was, or meant, and I shall be eternally indebted to Dame Cicely Saunders and Dr Mary Baines, among others, from St Christopher’s Hospice in London, who opened the doors of a new world to me. The impression was so strong and engaging that I decided that when I returned to Spain I would contribute by disseminating the experiences I had gained in London. During my stay in London I had met Dr Xavier Gómez-Batiste, a colleague and friend with whom I had the privilege to start developing palliative care in Catalonia and Spain. Fortunately, and very quickly, other Spanish colleagues joined this pioneering party. In the past 25 years, I have worked in many hospitals, and in different posts, always as a full-time palliative care physician. I completed my PhD dissertation in 1996 and did a Master’s in bioethics in 1998.
My professional interests were, and still are, related to research, teaching and organisation, but always clinical practice-based. As a researcher I’m interested in cancer pain, and also in ethics, specifically in palliative sedation, having participated, among other contributions, in the EAPC Task Force on Euthanasia and Physician-assisted Suicide More recently, I have become interested in the ‘Wish To Hasten Death’. Linked to my research interests, I was the first Editor-in-Chief of the first journal in Spanish devoted to palliative care: Medicina Paliativa, and I am a member of the editorial boards of Palliative Medicine and the BMJ Support & Palliative Care.
Currently, I am the Head of Research and Education in Palliative Care at the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Barcelona, and also Director of the ‘WeCare’ End of Life Care Chair at the ‘Universitat Internacional de Catalunya’, where I also teach palliative medicine. From the very beginning of my professional career I have taught on many Master’s courses on palliative care, but teaching palliative medicine to medical students is one of my most fulfilling recent experiences.
Recently, I had the opportunity to start an integrative early palliative care clinic in haematology, specifically with multiple myeloma patients. I hope this experience will help to open new roads for a not always appreciated collaboration between palliative care and haematology.
If I’m fortunate enough to be elected as a member of the EAPC Board of Directors, I would hope to make a positive contribution, not only with my clinical and teaching experience, but I would also be keen to contribute towards the building of bridges between palliative care and haematology.
More about the EAPC Board elections…
EAPC Board elections take place on Saturday 9 May from 10.00 am until 3.00 pm in room 171 of the Congress Center. If you are a member of the EAPC and eligible to vote please do go along and place your vote. Members can find more information on voting procedures and all the candidates standing for election on the EAPC website. (Members will need to login to access these pages).
We are also publishing candidates’ posts on the EAPC Blog in the run-up to the elections. Click here to read previous posts from other candidates.
Are you coming to Copenhagen?
See you at the 14th World Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care – Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-10 May, 2015. Follow us on Twitter @EAPCOnlus – our official congress hashtag is #eapc2015
Tienes pensado venir a Copenhague?
Te esperamos en el 14º Congreso Mundial de la Sociedad Europea de Cuidados Paliativos – Copenhague, Dinamarca, del 8 al 10 de Mayo 2015. Consulta toda la información aquí. También puedes seguirnos en Twitter @EAPCOnlus – el hashtag oficial del congreso es #eapc2015