Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 55  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 293-298

End-of-life care: Indian perspective

Department of Psychiatry, Pramukh Swami Medical College, Karamsad, Anand, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Himanshu Sharma
28, Ashirvad, Sardarnagar Society, Mission Road, Karamsad - 388 325, Anand, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.105554

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According to Hinduism, the main religion of India, the end-of-life (EOL) deals with good and bad death. The WHO definition of palliative care stresses on improving not only the quality of life of patients facing incurable diseases but also their families by providing relief from the pain and suffering that includes the psychosocial and spiritual needs as well. The Indian Society of Palliative Care has been doing a commendable work and appreciable efforts are being done by the Kerala model of delivering the EOL care. The spiritual, ethical issues and ethical challenges raised when the patients are in terminal phase are also reviewed keeping in mind the socio-cultural norms. The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has lacunae, which hamper the physicians from taking proper decision in the EOL care. Some of the sections like IPC 309 are defunct and need to be changed. The Indian Society for Critical Care Medicine has developed a position statement on the patient management of the terminally ill patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which states that the society should move from the paternalistic model to the share based decision model of the West when deciding the fate of such patients. The literature review on the Indian research on palliative care shows very little emphatic results and the medical under graduates show illiteracy. To strengthen it Medical Council of India has included the palliative care in its curriculum by starting a PG course. Literature review revealed that more research from Indian perspective should be done in this area. This article studies the core issues of developing palliative care in Indian setting keeping in mind the ethical, spiritual and legal issues.



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