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IAHPC News Digest – Special 25th Anniversary Edition, April 2021


IAHPC Hospice Palliative Care News Digest, April 2021

To celebrate our 25th year, we paired two images: one is a painting done by the first newsletter editor, Dr. William Farr, of the five churches in Taos, where he lived at the time; the other is a photo from Moonshine Movies’ film Life After Death, released in 2016. When the newsletter began, it was difficult to obtain images, and Dr. Roger Woodruff recalls that Dr. Farr’s paintings enlivened some issues. It’s still a struggle to obtain photos for the newsletter! Enter the IAHPC Photo Contest for a chance to see your work in print. Photos courtesy of Dr. Farr and Mike Hill, Moonshine Movies.


This issue marks IAHPC’s silver anniversary!

We are celebrating with messages from the past Chairs as well as previous newsletter editors, interesting tidbits, and notable achievements. Some form sections of this issue; others are sprinkled throughout. But the first words go to Dr. Derek Doyle, a founding member of IAHPC, a leading light in global palliative care and, for many years, our ever-gracious adviser.


Dr. Derek Doyle

What seems important to me is that we do not get upset when some ventures fail, others enjoy short term success, when some reject our teaching and others tweak it to satisfy their dreams of empire. We never had a blueprint. Heretical as it is to say so today, we never did comprehensive needs assessments in those days.

“We didn’t have crystal balls then and we don’t need them now, but what we do need is highly developed sensitivity to the needs of our patients (which we are now learning to assess), open-mindedness and flexibility.”

—from a speech, The Essence of Palliative Care: A Personal Perspective, given by Dr. Derek Doyle in 2004.

Table of Contents

25th Message from the Executive Director  Liliana takes us along her path to IAHPC.

Drs. Bruera, Foley, and Wenk: former heads of IAHPC

25th Messages from Former Chairs  Dr. Eduardo Bruera, Dr. Kathleen Foley, and Dr. Roberto Wenk.

25th Former Editors Have Their Say  Why was a newsletter important then, and even now? Dr. William Farr and Avril Jackson weigh in.

Advocacy Report  The full text of IAHPC’s statement delivered to the United Nations’ 11th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing.
25th Plus: A few of IAHPC’s landmark advocacy achievements, and key documents.


  • IAHPC hosts two side events in April, at the United Nations’ 11th Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing and the 64th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.
  • Caregiver: A Love Storyscreening moves IAHPC to recommend baseline research agenda on family caregivers in palliative care.
  • 30 IAHPC Scholarships Available for 3 Online Conferences.
  • Enter the IAHPC Photo Contest!
  • IAHPC 2020 Annual Report is available to read, and download.
  • Journal publishes IAHPC article on its COVID-19 members’ survey.
  • What’s new in the IAHP Calendar.
  • In other news: Applications open for EUPCA Leadership Award; ehospice newsletter resumes.
  • 25th Plus: Trusted online resources  A few ways that the IAHPC website serves its members and the palliative care community as a whole.

Dr. Claudia Burlá

Featured Story  Dr. Claudia Burlá ponders the question: Is there a protocol for care?
25th Plus: Bringing expertise home Examples of tactics IAHPC has used to improve palliative care in communities.

IAHPC Book Reviews  by Dr. Roger Woodruff

Palliative Care Book of the Month  BREATHTAKING: Inside the NHS in a time of pandemic  A well-written account of palliative care and the COVID pandemic.

Other Reviews

THE CHAIR BESIDE THE BED Fifteen intimate vignettes that explore the experience of death through the eyes of caregivers.

PEACE BE WITH YOU, REST IN PEACE: Using Scripture to Address Spiritual Distress near the End of Life How (Christian) ministerial practices might be improved.

PREPARING FOR A BETTER END: Expert Lessons on Death and Dying for You and Your Loved Ones An insider’s look at the problems to do with death and dying, but with a dreadful blind spot regarding assisted dying.

ETHICS AT THE END OF LIFE: New Issues and Arguments A collection of essays to do with the end of life, who decides when to end life, and how to end life.

THE CRISIS OF US HOSPICE CARE: Family and Freedom at the End of Life I remain unsure whether this book was to do with clinical hospice care as I understand it, or was really about politics.

Lessons from the Literature

Under My Microscope  IAHPC Research Advisor Dr. Tania Pastrana on IAHPC’s qualitative results of its 2019 COVID survey.

Media Watch  Barry Ashpole brings an editorial on health economics, a review that highlights opportunities for research in low- and middle-income countries, and a study on complexity in patient care.

Tara Devi Laabar

Membership Matters

  • Your reasons for joining the IAHPC influence our programs
  • Members’ Impact  Tara Devi Laabar on palliative care needs in Bhutan, and a group of six IAHPC members contribute to an article on the response in India to COVID-19.
  • Members in this issue
  • New & Renewing Members’ List
List of Donors

25th Afterword  It’s the beginning of a new era for IAHPC, and a closing anecdote by Dr. Derek Doyle.

Read in the IAHPC website