International Consulting Working Group on the Propagation and Development of Palliative Care in the World

Print Pdf


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.

The English version of the "White Paper" was presented in Vatican, in September 2018.

The German translation was presented in Berlin, May 23, 2019.

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

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).

Centeno_De Lima_Pegoraro_Paglia_Rajagopal_Comoretto

Position Paper of the Abrahamic Monotheistic Religions


On October 28, 2019 in the Casina Pio IV (Pontifical Academy for Sciences, Vatican City):

- Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Academy for Life, 

and other Representatives, have signed the 


The Position Paper  was prepared by the Pontifical Academy for Life under the mandate of Pope Francis.

On October 28th Pope Francis has received the main signers, the deputies of the Patriarchate of Costantinoples, of the Patriarchate of Moscow and others from the Islam world, and the Jewish world, between the Chief Rabbi of Rome.

Excerpts from the Position Paper: 

"We encourage and support validated and professional palliative care everywhere and for everyone. Even when efforts to continue staving off death seems unreasonably burdensome, we are morally and religiously duty-bound to provide comfort, effective pain and symptoms relief, companionship, care and spiritual assistance to the dying patient and to her/his family.

We commend laws and policies that protect the rights and the dignity of the dying patient, in order to avoid euthanasia and promote palliative care.

We call upon all policy-makers and health-care providers to familiarize themselves with this wide-ranging Abrahamic monotheistic perspective and teaching in order to provide the best care to dying patients and to their families who adhere to the religious norms and guidance of their respective religious traditions.

We are committed to involving the other religions and all people of goodwill".





The PALLIFE Project was presented in The Journal of Palliative Medicine:

This White Paper represents a position statement of the PAV developed through a consensus process in regard to advocacy strategies for the advancement of PC in the world.

A Spanish translation is also available.