Why palliative care universal access should be defended? Palliative care universal access for all

A report from King’s College in London, published last week in The Lancet Global Health, predicts that by 2060, around 48 million people (47% of all deaths) will die without receiving the palliative care that they need. Eighty-three percent of these people will live in low- and middle-income countries. The lead author, Katherine Sleeman, writes that, “[i]mmediate global action to integrate palliative care into health systems is an ethical and economic imperative”, that requires drugs, trained staff, a palliative care unit in each hospital and public education. Today it is estimated that only 14% of the world population receive palliative care (see HERE). Despite this data, the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that is a priority of the “Sustainable Development” objectives, programmed until 2030, by WHO, palliative care is neglected as a basic health care of universal access -read the article below).

From a bioethical point of view, the prediction of Lancet is a relevant issue for bioethics, because it could be the cause of a lower quality of end of life patients all over the world.