CCF in association with G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital hosted a public consultation programme regarding the Terminal Care Legislation to protect patients and doctors on 22nd Nov’2016. The bill had been proposed by the Ministry of Health and is still in public domain for opinion. We had a good participation of Senior citizens in Coimbatore, social work students, patients, doctors and nurses from many Hospitals.
Dr Nadini Vallath from Pallium India, Trivandrum and Mr Harsh Gursahani from PLR solictors, Delhi were the invited speakers who presented the bill to the audience. Both speakers expressed their concerns regarding this proposed legislation and suggested that a more elaborate end of life care legislation was required. Dr Rahul from Grand World Elder care, Dr Alka Ganesh, Geriatrican and Dr Sathymoorthy, Intensivist at GKNM Hospital expressed their concerns over the state of end of life care as it stands now and the need for proper guidance from the Ministry of Health. Dr Balaji, Director of Oncology services at the Hospital and Dr Rajith, Consultant in Palliative care felt that increasing demand in end of life care warranted more Palliative Care providers both in Hospitals and Communities which will enable patients to live and die with dignity. Dr Anand Narayan, Radiation Oncologist at GKNMH pointed out the end of life care deficiencies in our Health Care system and ways of bridging those gaps.
The informative presentations were followed by a panel discussion when the participants had the opportunity to share their ideas and concerns about End of Life Care in Hospitals and community and also regarding the proposed bill. Various topics like ‘Living Will’ and ‘Advance Directives’ were also discussed during the course of the meeting. At the end of the programme audiences voted on several aspects of the Terminal care bill and the results of this will be sent to the Ministry of Health. The programme enabled everyone to realise that end of life care is a priority and we require appropriate law to protect both patients and doctors. We need to develop a compassionate community that will care for the sick until the very end.