Hospice Palliative Care: A Human Right

    OTTAWA, May 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Hospice palliative care - relief from pain
and suffering at end of life for a patient and family members - has been
identified in an international declaration as a human right, yet not even half
of all Canadians who need it, have access to it. During National Hospice
Palliative Care Week, May 3rd to 9th, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care
Association (CHPCA) is encouraging all levels of government to support
improved access to hospice palliative care for all Canadians.
    The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC),
the Worldwide Palliative Care Alliance (WPCA) and different organizations from
around the world issued a Joint Declaration and Statement of Commitment
calling for the recognition of Palliative Care and Pain Treatment as Human
Rights. The Declaration and Statement have been jointly developed and signed
by representatives of several international and regional organizations from
Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Asia and North America,
including the CHPCA.
    "Canadians often assume that if we need specialized care at the end of
our lives, it will be there for us," explained Larry Librach, President,
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA). He continued,
"Unfortunately, this is not always the case. At best, only four out of ten
Canadians receive the quality end-of-life care that they need."
    "Quality hospice palliative care is a flexible set of services," added
Sharon Baxter, Executive Director, CHPCA. "It includes physical,
psychological, social, spiritual and practical support to people
life-threatening illness, and to their loved ones. It focuses on what the
individual and family members need at any given time."
    Resources to help start conversations about advance care planning with
family or health care professionals are available from the CHPCA website at
    National Hospice Palliative Care Week is coordinated by the Canadian
Hospice Palliative Care Association. Funding for National Hospice Palliative
Care Week is provided by The GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, Health Canada, Wyeth
and Valeant Canada Limited.

    The CHPCA is the national voice for hospice palliative care in Canada.
Advancing and advocating for quality end-of-life/hospice palliative care, its
work includes public policy, public education and awareness. Established in
1991, its volunteer Board of Directors is composed of hospice palliative care
workers and volunteers from Canadian provinces and territories as well as

For further information:

For further information: AnnMarie Nielsen, Communications Officer,
Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association, 1-800-668-2785 ext. 229,
anielsen@bruyere.org; Linda Truglia, Project Coordinator (National Hospice
Palliative Care Week), Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association,
1-800-668-2785 ext. 228, ltruglia@bruyere.org

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Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

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