In July we reported that the UK came top of the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of ‘quality of death’ across 40 countries.
India, in contrast, was ranked last – scoring 39 out of 40 for ‘cost of end-of-life care’, 39 out of 40 for ‘basic end-of-life care environment’, 37 out of 40 for ‘quality of end-of-life care’ and 35 out of 40 for ‘availability of end-of-life care’.
The availability of end-of-life care in India is low, and physicians are reluctant to prescribe morphine due to fears concerning addiction. In addition, due to cultural taboos surrounding cancer, many patients seek treatment at an advance stage of the disease, and face stigma in their communities. A number of organisations are, however, providing holistic end-of-life care and challenging negative attitudes held by both members of the general public and the medical professions in uniquely Indian ways.
Ganga Prem Hospice provides cancer care facilities in Northern India.
Cipla Palliative Care Centre provides end-of-life care in Maharashtra.
Jeevodaya is a Hospice which provides care for advanced stage cancer patients in Chennai.
The Dean Foundation provides end-of-life care in Chennai for patients with a range of conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS , diabetes, neurological and kidney diseases.
The Ruma Abedona Hospice provides end-of-life care in West Bengal, India.