Home > Issue 3 (Volume 14) > Pain relief as human right to patients with terminal stage cancer
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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and accounts for approximately 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Pain is particularly common and extremely worrying for these patients, especially in metastases. Such a situation imposes an approach that would improve the quality of life and would provide specialized medical care which is, according to WHO, the definition of Palliative Care. There have been many efforts to recognize and establish the human right of pain relief, in order to promote the enforcement of human dignity and the protection of Public Health. However, from the thorough study of the literature on this subject, it emerges that much more could be done in that direction. There is a lag firstly in health policy making to prevent and adopt palliative care in health care and health systems. Secondly, there is also a lag in continuing education of health professionals in the treatment and management of pain, and the information of patients and their relatives about their rights. Another obstacle is the problem in opioid accessibility, that are in the treatment of pain, and finally there are social, cultural and economic problems that are to be resolved. Relief from pain, especially in patients with end-stage cancer, is a major public health and community issue. Good cooperation of all (health scientists, scientists, patients, relatives, governments, international organizations) and the exchange of knowledge and information can overall bring very important changes that would go beyond any obstacles and would bring us one step closer to conquering the relief from pain at the end of life.

Key words: human rights, pain relief, public health, cancer, pain

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