Creating a Compassionate World – Professor Liz Gwyther

Categories: Featured, Opinion, and People & Places.

As the incoming chair of the ehospice board of trustees, I am happy to write the first editorial of the re-launched newsletter. I have missed the stories coming directly into my inbox and connecting me to the wider hospice and palliative care community.

So, this is my welcome to to all our readers. Welcoming you to the global news website covering anything and everything to do with hospice and palliative care. Over a million users have visited the website since we launched in 2012 and we have over 15,000 searchable articles on the site – an invaluable resource for our readers.

The purpose of ehospice is to share Palliative Care News, Views & Inspiration from around the world. We live in a world where there is so much distressing news reported in our print and electronic media, and it is easy to become disheartened. However, there are many more inspiring stories worldwide and ehospice is a powerful platform to disseminate good news stories. One of our recent stories tells of the impact of Cansupport-India in providing free home-based palliative care service in Delhi at a time when Delhi & India are reeling under the effects on the COVID pandemic. PalCHASE, the organisation promoting palliative care in circumstances of humanitarian crisis, has also been exceptionally busy with the challenging circumstances of so many displaced persons worldwide and the COVID pandemic.

I am proud to be a part of the ehospice community, sharing news, stories, research findings, information, policy, best practice and innovation in palliative care around the world with our target audiences of palliative care professionals and volunteers, carers and everyone with an interest in end-of-life care. This provides a link to a global community of care and is especially valuable for people isolated in their work where there are few palliative care services.

We also aim to reach out beyond the immediate hospice palliative care sector, working to inform policy makers and to raise greater awareness of hospice palliative care and dispel the myths and misconceptions which still exist. The most powerful way to achieve this is through sharing stories from patients and families, and ehospice gives a voice to people receiving palliative care bringing the perspective of patients directly to the palliative care providers and policymakers.

In a world when there are so many reports of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’, the stories shared on ehospice highlight the palliative care values of compassion to those in need (including our over-burdened health care workers) and respect for others. Many ehospice editions are publishing stories of the compassion and care provided by hospice and palliative care nurses in the week leading up to international Nurses’ Day on 12th May. These articles are particularly inspiring. Is it still possible to make the world a better place? I am reminded of Margaret Mead’s inspiring quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Together with other humanitarian organisations whose work is based on compassion and recognition of our common humanity, we can continue to make a difference and create the world we want for our grandchildren.

Please join the ehospice community:

Liz Gwyther is chair of the ehospice board of Trustees and immediate past-chair of the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Alliance.  She is Emeritus Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Palliative Care and Medicine at the University of Cape Town where she established undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in palliative care and a strong research programme to further build the evidence for palliative care in Africa.


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