Reducing the intensity of patients’ suffering should not be considered a luxury, says the Council of Europe.
It has recommended that palliative care be included in member states’ health-policies. The Council’s Parliamentary Assembly sees this as an essential and innovative treatment which should complement curative medicine. Wolfgang Wodarg, in the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee, wrote the text for a resolution on this which has been unanimously adopted. Wodarg said: “We do a lot that the pharmaceutic industry sells their pills, this is ok, this we do, and there is a big market for them. But we don’t care for those structures to keep those people moving, to keep them in good mood, that they don’t lose their faith, that they don’t lose their hope, so it is what we should stress much more, we should have structures who are specialised on this, and who could help people on this level.” Palliative care includes the precise assessment and treatment of pain and other related problems, whether physical, psycho-social or spiritual.