“Dr Raj”, described by the New York Times as the “father of palliative care in India”, will discuss the just-released major commission of the British Lancet on palliative care and pain relief in the developing world. The report highlights the disparity in prescribing opioids between developed and developing nations, leading to enormous levels of pain and unnecessary suffering for those dealing with life-threatening and terminal illnesses. His focus on ethical medicine will be explored as well as implications for rural and regional Australia. The seminar will also include excerpts from the film Hippocratic currently in cinemas, nation-wide.
About “Dr Raj”
M.R.Rajagopal MD is a palliative care physician from India. He qualified as a physician from Trivandrum Medical College, Kerala and as an anaesthesiologist from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He and his colleagues founded the Pain and Palliative Care Society, a palliative care delivery system suited to the Indian cultural and social background. This initiative has now resulted in palliative care reaching about 30% of the needy in Kerala as against a national average of less than 0.5%. Since 1996 he has worked with Pain and Policy Studies group in Madison-Wisconsin to remove regulatory barriers to availability of oral morphine for pain relief in India, resulting in simplification of narcotic regulations in 13 of India’s 28 states. In 2003, he founded the charitable trust, “Pallium India” which has been successful in establishing palliative care services in 8 Indian states, which till then had no palliative care service. Currently, he is the chairman of Pallium India (www.palliumindia.org) and director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences.
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