Palliative Care and the
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
WHO participated in the work of a Council of Europe Expert Committee during
2001-2002 which resulted in the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on
12.11.2003 adopting a "Recommendation on the organization of palliative
care". The recommendation is available at the Council of Europe website
together with an explanatory memorandum.
A WHO definition of palliative care also exists and is available on
the following WHO website.
In 2004, two WHO
reports on palliative care were published Palliative Care: the
solid facts and Better Palliative care for older people.
Frequently asked question: What
are the palliative care needs of older people and how might they be met?
European Association for Palliative Care
The European Association for Palliative Care (EAPC) was established on 12
December 1988, with 42 founding members and following important initiatives by
Professor Vittorio Ventafridda and the Floriani Foundation. The aim of the
EAPC is to promote palliative care in Europe and to act as a focus for all of
those who work, or have an interest, in the field of palliative care at the
scientific, clinical and social levels.
Since 1990 the Head Office of EAPC has been based at the Division of
Rehabilitation and Palliative Care within the National Cancer Institute in
Milan. In 1998 the EAPC was awarded the status of NGO – Non Governmental
Organisation of the Council of Europe, and was transformed to “Onlus” (Non
profit organisation with social utility).
By 2005 the EAPC counted individual members in 40 countries, with collective
members from 32 National Associations in 21 European countries, representing a
movement of some 50.000 health care workers and volunteers working or
interested in palliative care.
EAPC OPERATES WITH THE FOLLOWING AIMS:
- Promote the implementation of
existing knowledge; train those who at any level are involved with the
care of patients and families affected by incurable and advanced disease;
and promote study and research.
- Bring together those who study
and practise the disciplines involved in the care of patients and families
affected by advanced disease (doctors, nurses, social workers,
psychologists and volunteers).
- Promote and sponsor
publications or periodicals concerning palliative care.
- Unify national palliative care
organizations and establish an international network for the exchange of
information and expertise.
- Address the ethical problems
associated with the care of terminally ill patients
Our website has become a crucial communication tool to update on the
latest developments and report in detail on the activities of EAPC.
European Journal of
Palliative Care– the EAPC Journal
The EJPC is the journal of the EAPC. It is a multidisciplinary journal,
published 6 times a year in both English and French. EJPC concentrates on
reviews and current awareness of palliative care on the European scene.
Medicine– The Research Journal of the EAPC
Palliative Medicine is the leading peer reviewed research journal of
palliative care in Europe. It is published 8 times a year and is available by
subscription to the printed version, with online access to the back issues of
the last 5 years.
The Board of Directors of the EAPC consider research a key issue for the
future of palliative care and decided in 1996 to put together a Steering
Committee for research. This group has organized eleven expert working groups
on a variety of topics for which a common European position or recommendations
are needed. By the end of 2003, the results of the work of seven groups had
been published, one of them in 6 languages. Two further papers are in
PALLIATIVE CARE IN
EASTERN EUROPE: AN EAPC PROJECT
One of the priorities of the EAPC for the future is the support of
development of palliative care in Eastern Europe. In 2001 the EAPC
co-ordination centre was established at Stockholm’s Sjukhem Foundation in
Stockholm, Sweden, which hosts and supports the centre locally. The
realisation of this project has been possible thanks to a grant from the OpeN
Society Institute, New York.
THE “TASK FORCES” (Projects)
The EAPC Ethics Task Force on Palliative Care and Euthanasia: This task
force is nearing completion of its work. On the Web page
http://www.eapcnet.org/projects/ethics.asp can befound the original paper in
English, as well as the translations that exist thus far: a French, an Italian
and a Hungarian are available as PDF files (free download). A German and a
Finnish translation are under way
EAPC task force on Palliative Care Standards A review of available standards
was presented as a poster at the EAPC congress in The Hague. Plans for a
workshop are in progress. Creators of existing standards will be invited as
well as task force members to share experiences from creation process, through
to implementation and audit. A second purpose of this taskforce is to find out
the needs for some form of a European standard and to create a checklist that
anyone wanting to create standards can follow.
EAPC Taskforce on Palliative Care Development in Europe This taskforce is a
collaboration between three institutions, EAPC Onlus, The International
Observatory on End of Life Care and Help the Hospices - with the aim to
achieve an overall vision of the care activity and development of Palliative
Care teams in Europe. The survey will include:
• countries of the WHO European region with a Palliative Care National
• countries of the EU
• countries candidate to become members of the EU
Taskforce on Palliative Care for Children This Group was set up in
September 2002. Its aims are three fold:
• To identify existing organisations providing and supporting palliative
care to children in Europe.
• To create a directory of such organisations to facilitate working between
• To formulate a strategy for supporting them.
The initial phase of the project has been spent in defining the scope of the
work and how it should best be approached. The taskforce takes the view that
the specialty of paediatric palliative medicine has much to learn from the
adultspecialty and that opportunities for exchange of knowledge between adult
and paediatric palliative care physicians are currently limited and there is
value in providing settings that allow’ cross-fertilisation’ of ideas.
Taskforce on Nursing EducationThis taskforce of Palliative Nursing Experts
has been convened to develop recommendations for the development of palliative
nurse education in Europe. Ten experts in the field, from some 10 different
European countries have been consulted for their comments, views and
suggestions to finalise the recommendations, which will be published on the
Survey on Medical Education. The EAPC Board considers that education about
palliative medicine at university level is of utmost importance for the future
of palliative care, and has carried out a survey on the state of the art of
education for physicians in Europe.
Taskforce on Medical Education.
A working party has been convened to create European recommendations for
curricula for medical education at University. The group represents a broad
spectrum of medical practitioners involved in the preparation and delivery of
medical education throughout Europe.
Since 1990 the EAPC has organised 8 European Congresses: in Paris. France
(October 1990), Bruxelles, Belguim (October 1992), Bergen, Norway (June 1994),
Barcellona, Spain (December 1995), London, United Kingdom (September 1997),
Geneva, Switzerland (September 1999), Palermo, Italy (April 2001), Den Haag,
the Netherlands (April 2003).
The 9th Congress will be held in
Aachen, Germany, April 2005.
The site for the
10th EAPC Congress will be decided soon.
THE EAPC FORUM ON RESEARCH IN PALLIATIVE CARE
The first Research Forum of the EAPC in December 2000 was such a success that
the EAPC Board of Directors decided to continue to organise such meetings
every second year in between the EAPC Congresses. The second Forum was held in
Lyon, France May 2002. The third one in Stresa