Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1


Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
Reena George
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
George R. Editorial. Indian J Palliat Care 2003;9:1

How to cite this URL:
George R. Editorial. Indian J Palliat Care [serial online] 2003 [cited 2020 Aug 11];9:1. Available from:

In this issue of the Indian Journal of Palliative Care we thank Dr Prabha Chandra who was editor from 2000 to 2002.

Dr Chandra's professional experience in psychiatry, clinical supervision, HIV and cancer palliative care, and quality of life assesment enhanced the interdisciplinary and academic content of the journal. Spirtuality and the power of narrative were two key themes of the last issue edited by her. These continue here.

We also invite contributions for the following new features:

Clinical Guidelines- a forum for sharing clinical practice guidelines that are effective and feasible. In this issue Suranjan Bhattacharjee outlines the management of paraplegia in terminally ill patients.

Journal Watch- This section highlights some important recent abstracts from palliative care and related specialties

Drug Highlight -We focus this time on ketamine. We are grateful to Andrew Wilcock and Robert Twycross for helping us to use material from the palliative drugs.comwebsite.

Narrative- Visalam Rajashekhar's account describes the problems most terminally ill patients and their families face in India- the lack of guidance and support from health care professionals and the difficulty in obtaining much needed analgesics.

To have excrutiating pain alleviated to a bearable level is a basic and universal palliative care need. Perhaps another fundamental need is to know when we are dying that we have not been completely abandoned, that there is at least one person who cares. But is it possible, sometimes, that we may find hope and meaning even as we experience physical pain and great loneliness?

Sanjeev Vasudevan discusses transcendence, and the challenge of exploring the spiritual dimension in palliative care. Spiritual care is not usually a component of health care in India. Most palliative care services in the country do not have a person trained or designated to help with spiritual needs. This neglect is not unsurprising. Not only because other health care needs are enormous- diarrhoeal deaths and tuberculosis, maternal and infant mortality are only a few of our problems; but also because our different languages and belief systems make it difficult for us understand each other.

Pallaitive care crosses many boundaries -the divisions between different clinical disciplines, between the humanities and technology, between science and spirtuality. Nevertheless, more than most other clinical specialties palliative care is also 'culture' specific - shaped by the land it is practised in.

The journal needs to reflect these different realities-it must help us to disseminate the common fundamentals of palliative care and to study those issues that are specific to India; to keep abreast of new developments in the field and to think together about how these may applied in our own work; it needs to be a space for us to share and to learn from the humanities, from our own experience of interdisciplinary work, and from those who have supported us worldwide.

Dr Prabha Chandra was able to make the journal such a forum. We are grateful to her and we wish her well.


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Online since 1st October '05
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow