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The Lisbon Challenge: Acknowledging Palliative Care as a Human Right

Journal of palliative medicine | 2 Feb 2013

L Radbruch, S Payne, L De Lima and D Lohmann
Abstract Access to palliative care has been advocated as a human right by international associations, based on the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. It has been argued that failure to provide palliative care for patients facing severe pain could constitute cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. Yet the governments of many countries throughout the world have still not acknowledged a human right to access palliative care for all those who need it. The European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC), the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) discussed this at the EAPC congress in 2011 and formulated the Lisbon Challenge: Governments must: (1) put in place health policies that address the needs of patients with life-limiting or terminal illnesses; (2) ensure access to essential medicines, including controlled medications, to all who need them; (3) ensure that health care workers receive adequate training on palliative care and pain management at undergraduate levels; and (4) facilitate and promote the implementation of palliative care services as part of available health services.
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Palliative care, Hospice, Suffering, Illness, Health care provider, Human rights, Medicine, Health care
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