Palliative care ‘declarations’: developing a case study

Published on: Author: Rev Dr Hamilton Inbadas 1 Comment

Recent weeks have been exciting ones for the international palliative care community. The 14th World Congress of the European Association of Palliative Care was held in Copenhagen from 8 – 10 May 2015 and the 4th International Public Health and Palliative Care Conference took place in Bristol  from 11th – 16th May 2015. We at the Glasgow End of Life Studies Group are pleased that Professor David Clark attended the EAPC conference, and Dr Shahaduz Zaman attended the conference in Bristol. Both have commented on their experiences on this blog.

Declarations for advocacy

I was interested to see if these conferences would bring out any kind of ‘declaration’, since several meetings in recent years have concluded with the production of a resounding statement or call to action highlighting key issues in end of life care. Such declarations can be seen as advocacy tools to support and promote palliative care as well as to bring pertinent issues in end of life care to the attention of policy makers. Some declarations take different names, such as ‘charter’, ‘challenge’ or ‘commitment’, but all appear to have a similar  intention of advocating for end of life issues.

My curiosity about palliative care declarations stems from a research interest. As part of our early explorations in the Global Interventions at the End of Life project, we are undertaking a case study of declarations on end of life issues. Our initial thoughts are around presenting a timeline of the various declarations, establishing an understanding of how they came about, what concerns and issues they highlight, what measures and actions they recommend – and what impact these declarations have had.

So far, I have identified 23 declarations that deal with palliative care and related issues  –  from searches on the internet and on the websites of national and international palliative care associations (see below).  I have been able to download all of them other than number 7, the 2002 Cape Town Declaration. There may be others that I have not found so far.

Can anyone help?

I would much appreciate hearing from you if  1)  you could let us know of any other end of life / palliative care declarations or 2) happen to have a copy or link to the 2002 Cape Town Declaration.

My colleagues and I would love to hear from you if you can help with this in any way or can add to the list of declarations identified to date:

Declarations on palliative care

  1. 1983 WMA Declaration of Venice on Terminal Illness
  2. 1994 The Declaration of Florianopolis
  3. 1995 Barcelona Declaration on Palliative Care [European Journal of Palliative Care 3 (1) 15]
  4. 1998 The Poznan Declaration [European Journal of Palliative Care 6 (2) 61 – 65]
  5. 2002 Cape Town Declaration
  6. 2005 Korea Declaration on Hospice and Palliative Care
  7. 2006 WMA Declaration of Venice on Terminal Illness – Revised
  8. 2006 The Declaration of Venice: palliative care research in developing countries
  9. 2007 Budapest commitments
  10. 2008 Panama Proclamation
  11. 2009 IAHPC-WPA joint declaration
  12. 2009 Wuhan Declaration
  13. 2010 Declaration on Palliative Care and MDR/XDR-TB
  14. 2011 Lucknow Declaration/Palliative Care  Declaration
  15. 2011 Declaration of Partnership and Commitment to Action
  16. 2011 The Lisbon challenge
  17. 2011 WMA Declaration on End-of-Life Medical Care
  18. 2013 The Prague Charter
  19. 2014 European Declaration on Palliative Care
  20. 2014 Montreal Declaration on Hospice and Palliative Care
  21. 2014 Mumbai Declaration
  22. 2014 WHO: World Health Assembly Resolution
  23. 2014 The Compassionate City Charter

In the game of cricket, a side may issue a ‘declaration’ when it has amassed such a score that it can offer the opposing team a chance to reply.  Palliative care declarations may not always be issued from such a  position of strength. But they merit our attention and deserve to be better understood.

If you have any declarations to add to our list – or any thoughts about them – please leave a comment on this post, or drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you and we are grateful in advance for your contribution!

Hamilton Inbadas

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