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Terminal treatment: an analysis of palliative care in India

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Holly Donahue Singh

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The realm of palliative care is a relatively new specialty of care in Indian medical facilities, emerging only about 30 years ago. Major religious and culture aspects within the region have shaped how Indian physicians, healthcare workers, and patients respond to the concept of palliative care. Through a detailed literature search and analysis, the limitations and benefits of the current palliative care system in India will be discussed with approaches to pain management, psychosocial wellbeing, and the connotations presented with end-of-life care. The inextricable ties with religious practices and cultural norms in Indian medicine have further emphasized ideas of natural death and suffering in current lives to avoid condemnation in next. Based on the principles of karma and natural healing practice in India, it is possible that palliative care in India relies on familial support rather than medical intervention as found more commonly in Western practices.

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Terminal treatment: an analysis of palliative care in India

The realm of palliative care is a relatively new specialty of care in Indian medical facilities, emerging only about 30 years ago. Major religious and culture aspects within the region have shaped how Indian physicians, healthcare workers, and patients respond to the concept of palliative care. Through a detailed literature search and analysis, the limitations and benefits of the current palliative care system in India will be discussed with approaches to pain management, psychosocial wellbeing, and the connotations presented with end-of-life care. The inextricable ties with religious practices and cultural norms in Indian medicine have further emphasized ideas of natural death and suffering in current lives to avoid condemnation in next. Based on the principles of karma and natural healing practice in India, it is possible that palliative care in India relies on familial support rather than medical intervention as found more commonly in Western practices.