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Palliative Care as a Human Right

The care of people with life-limiting illnesses up to and including their death is a universal challenge. The skills, humanity, and resources of all nations are tested. Whether people die in affluence or poverty, amidst sophisticated medical technology or relying on the most basic care, our common needs as human beings are universal: comfort, dignity, and love.

The modern palliative care movement has grown in response to that universal challenge. How that care is provided, and what resources are brought to its fulfillment, vary enormously around the world.

Produced by the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, King's College School of Medicine, and the Open Society Institute, this paper aims to:

  1. Provide a detailed overview of the epidemiological, public health, and legal issues underpinning the goal of advancing a human rights approach to palliative care provision.
  2. Document the principle readings and resources that would complement this background in the formation of a curriculum on palliative care as a human right.
  3. Describe how the findings may be utilized to advance access to palliative care and pain management globally.

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