Palliative care, covid-19 and compassion

Rachel Coghlan

APLI Executive Committee member Rachel Coghlan has previously featured in our newsletter, discussing the important role of the healthcare continuum alongside life-saving treatments in humanitarian crises. In this edition we are pleased to highlight two further essays that have recently been published. 


Rachel writes, ‘The shared ethos of palliative care and humanitarian action to help everyone suffering the effects of conflict, disaster or disease, and to treasure human relationships and spirit through caring, compassion, presence and witness, should make the integration of palliative care into COVID-19 response self-evident.’


‘The editorial ‘Palliative care ought to be an explicit part of national and international response plans for COVID-19’ was published in the Lancet in early April, drawing attention to the World Health Organisation’s oversight for failing to include palliative care in COVID-19: Operational guidance for maintaining essential health services during an outbreak. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has released the humanitarian sector’s overall Global COVID-19 Response Plan. Palliative care is not included in its strategic priorities alongside other health mitigation and response measures—another serious omission.’


Fortunately, at the most recent meeting of the World Health Assembly in May 2020, the World Health Organisation passed a resolution calling on member states to 'provide access to safe testing, treatment and palliative care for COVID-19'. 


Please see below for links to her recent articles: