From the President’s Desk

Dear Friends,

In the current scenario, we cannot think about meetings or conferences which need the physical presence of the participants. Virtual events are the only strategy for carrying forward our mission in this pandemic era. We at IAPC are also depending on this and utilising the virtual platforms to the maximum.

The virtual platform helps us to successfully organise the IAPC online lecture series. The Part – I of the series, started in July 2020, will be completed by the end of December. We could see the participation of doctors from all over India in the Monday Morning Lectures. In this unfortunate period of isolation, along with educating young physicians, this venue also provides a sense of togetherness and motivation to work with our colleagues. The presence of seniors in these sessions, their dedication and willingness to share their treasure of experience obviously mentor the young generation. The second online batch of the Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care will join in December. A virtual meeting of the IAPC Central Committee was held on Saturday, 28th November 2020. We are also considering the possibilities of organising the IAPCON 2021 as a virtual conference.

In each issue of this Newsletter, we are trying to bring you the latest updates in the field of Palliative Care. Let us know your suggestions and feedback.

We all are waiting for the COVID -19 vaccine. We all hope that with the successful administration of the Covid-19 vaccine, the situation gets controlled. Our longing to breathe fresh air, to be relieved from agonies, to resume normal life in its full glory, will be fulfilled.

With warm regards.

Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar

IAPC Academy

An Update

The Part I of the IAPC Academy lecture series, which has become a popular academic program in India, will be completed with lectures in December. Thank you for all the faculty who have contributed and supported this program.

This lecture series has been designed with an aim to provide an opportunity for MD students in Palliative Medicine to get trained by expert faculty in the field. Along with the MD students, physicians from all over the country, who practice palliative medicine, are also joining these online sessions to update their knowledge. The second part of the series will begin soon.

In December 2020, there will be four lectures on Mondays from 6.30 AM to 7.30 AM by eminent faculty members.

Dr Vinod Kumar, Dr Sachidananda Jee Bharathi, Dr Naveen Salins and Dr Rajashree K C are the faculty for December 2020. We hope all these lectures will be helpful for you. So don’t miss the Monday morning sessions!

The part II of the series will begin in January 2021, and schedule will be announced soon.

Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care

Next online batch in December

The next online batch of the Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care will begin on 5th December 2020.

The theory sessions will be held on 5th, 6th, 12th and 13th of December from 7 am to 1 Pm online.

For details of the program please visit this Page

Encouraging news from BBCI Guwahati

Certificate Course has been made mandatory in this institution

It’s a great move indeed! IAPC Certificate Course in Essentials of Palliative Care has been made a mandatory training program to be attended by all MD students/Fellows in B. Borooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati.

In a special announcement dated 11th November 2020, Dr. Debabrata Barmon, Deputy Director (Academics) of BBCI, explained that the course had been made mandatory for all the Mch-DM trainees, PG Fellows and PG trainees. They have to undergo this course before their final examination.

Dr Kabindra Bhagbati, Medical Officer, Department of Palliative Medicine and a National Faculty of IAPC is the coordinator of the program at BBCI. Those who wish to join the program please contact him.

Email: | Mobile: +91 9864093687

Workshop On

“Palliative Care in Geriatric Oncology”

A virtual workshop on “Palliative Care in Geriatric Oncology” will be held on 5th December 2020, as part of the annual conference of the Oncology Forum – OFCON 2020. The workshop is being conducted in association with Indian Association of Palliative Care. The three day conference, OFCON 2020 will be held from 4th to 6th December.

The 3 hour workshop includes sessions on pain & other symptoms, psychological, ethical, prognostication and end of life care issues. It would be ideal for physicians, oncologists and specialist nurses to attend the program.

Date and Time: 5th December 2020; 2 PM to 5 PM

Those who register for the conference (OFCON 2020) can attend the workshop. For details, please follow this Link

A Webinar on Living Will

A webinar on Living Will has been organised by Indian Association of Palliative Care on 31st October 2020 at 6PM. Experts in the field including Dr. Roop Gurshahani, Dr. R. K. Mani, Dr. S. N. Simha, Dr. Sushma Bhatnagar, and Mr. Akshat Agarwal participated in the discussion. Dr. Savita Butola was the moderator.

Dorothy Robson Prize

for Dr Sunitha Daniel

Dr. Sunitha Daniel

Dr. Sunitha Daniel won the prestigious Dorothy Robson Prize for the paper ”Psychological concerns of Indian women with breast cancer in different national contexts; a systematic review and mixed- methods synthesis”. This paper has been published in BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care Journal.

To read this paper, please follow this Link

Renal Palliative Care Service at KMC, Manipal

A renal Palliative Care Service has been initiated by the Department of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, Mangalore, Karnataka. The clinic is under the leadership of Dr. Pankaj Singhai, Asst. Professor, Department of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care at KMC.

The speciality clinic is located at the Dialysis room of the hospital and caters to all ESRD patients. Heartiest congratulations to Dr. Pankaj and all the members of the Palliative Care Team of KMC led by Dr. Naveen Salins.

IAPC Book Club

November 2020

In November, the book club featured the classic inspirational book- ‘Light from many lamps’- a title befitting the month celebrating Diwali. The virtual meeting was held on 27th October at 6PM. Dr Sanjay Pai, Editor of Indian Journal of Cancer, was the guest speaker and 36 members participated.

Dr Pai reviewed the book and read out some of the most interesting passages while Dr Nagesh Simha shared his own personal story related to the book. Dr Savita Butola, who moderated the discussion narrated the wonderful story of the teenager author who was a leading light in her own career as a copywriter in a world dominated by males and still stands out as a symbol of woman power almost a century later. Her own life is as inspiring as the writing that she selected for the compilation in this book along with stories of those who wrote them. A book to savour; to go back to, again and again; and to be gifted across generations- indeed a lamp for lost souls.

Book of the month

For book club discussion – December 2020

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly‘ by Jean-Dominique Bauby.

‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ is a memoir by a journalist, Jean-Dominique Bauby. It describes his life before and after suffering a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome.

Worth Reading

  1. How views of oncologists and haematologists impacts palliative care referral: a systematic review
    Authors: Naveen Salins, Arunangshu Ghoshal, Sean Hughes, Nancy Preston

    Worldwide, many patients with cancer, are infrequently referred to palliative care or are referred late. Early palliative care referral is associated with improved quality of life, symptom control, treatment decision making, advance care planning, end of life care and reduced costs. Oncologists and haematologists may act as gatekeepers, and their views may facilitate or hinder eferrals to palliative care. This review aimed to identify, explore and synthesise their views on referrals systematically.

    In the conclusion of this review it has been pointed out that presuppositions, power relationships, trust issues and the challenges associated with the task of referrals hindered palliative care referral.
    Please follow this link to read this article published in BMC Palliative Care:
  2. Pressure on critical care facilities in covid-19 patients in India by Dr. Suresh Kumar and Dr. Jairam Kamala Ramakrishnan

    In this opinion column of BMJ, the authors highlight the difficulties in Kerala, India, of providing palliative care for patients with pre-existing advanced disease who are infected with coronavirus. To read this, please follow this link:

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