The Pontifical Academy for Life has taken up the words pronounced by Pope Francis during his Audience of the XXII General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the context of which the Workshop "Assisting the Elderly and Palliative Care" took place. Those words were: «Palliative care accomplishes something equally important: it values the person. I exhort all those who, in various ways, are involved in the field of palliative care, to practice this task keeping the spirit of service intact and remembering that all medical knowledge is truly science, in its noblest significance, only if used as aid in view of the good of man, a good which is never accomplished “against” the life and dignity of man».
The Pontifical Academy for Life, welcoming the exhortation of Pope Francis, launched the PAL-LIFE Project to promote initiatives in favor of the development and dissemination of palliative care worldwide as well as the promotion of a culture of care and accompaniment of sick until the passage of death.
The members of the PALLIFE Study Group are: Eduardo Bruera (University of Houston, U.S.), Liliana de Lima e Katherine Pettus (International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care), Christina Puchalski (The George Washington University's Institute for Spirituality and Health, Washington, D.C.), Emmanuel Luyirika (African Palliative Care Association), M. R. Rajagopal (Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, India), Sr. Jinsun Yong (Catholic University of Korea), Samy Alsirafy (Cairo University, Egypt), Daniela Mosoiu (Hospice “Casa Sperantei”, Romania), Carlos Centeno (University of Navarra, Spain), Thomas Sitte (Deutsche PalliativStiftung, Germany).
The White Book: developed by the Vatican-based Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV), describes the broad-based, expert-led effort to develop recommendations for improving global palliative care. Advances in palliative care are needed to aid the more than 25 million people who die each year with serious health-related suffering, as the current supply of palliative care cannot meet the growing demand. The White Book is a product of the work by a group of experts in palliative care advocacy who represent different faiths and were invited by the PAV to develop strategic recommendations to advance global palliative care. The expert group identified 43 recommendations and 13 stakeholder groups, targeting the most important recommendations for each stakeholder group.
International events have already been held: in Houston, Usa (2018); in Doha, in Qatar (2019), in Rome (2018) and in Milan (2019). In May 2019 there was a meeting in Brazil for implementation in Latin America and in September 2019 in Rwanda to address the issue on the African continent.
Interreligious Dialogue: is important the promotion of palliative care in the ecumenical and interreligious context. Two joint declarations have already been signed: between the Pontifical Academy for Life and the American Methodist Church and the Qatar Foundation. A common declaration of the great leaders of the three monotheistic religions is being developed.
In the picture (from left): dr. Centeno, dr. De Lima, msgr. Pegoraro (Chancellor, Pontifical Academy for Life), Abp. Paglia (President, Pontifical Academy for Life), dr. Rajagopal, dr. Comoretto (Pontifical Academy for Life).