Palliative Care as a Human Right: A Fact Sheet

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Palliative care is fundamental to health and human dignity and is a basic human right. Palliative care is highly effective in managing pain and physical symptoms and can improve adherence to medications. It can and should be delivered with curative treatment that begins at the time of diagnosis. But palliative care goes much further than physical care. It is a holistic approach that improves the quality of life for patients and their families by addressing the psychosocial, legal, and spiritual problems associated with life-threatening illness.

This fact sheet by the Open Society Public Health Program discusses the recognition of palliative care under international human rights laws, and offers recommendations for governments to promote, protect, and ensure access to palliative care.