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Message from the EAPC President

Dear Palliative Care Friends,

A short notice from me sitting and reading the recently released document on palliative care from Council of Europe, Committee of Ministers. “Recommendation REC (2003) 24 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the organisation of Palliative Care”. You can read and download the paper from the Website of the Council of Europe. http://www.coe.int/T/E/Social_Cohesion/Health/Recommendations/Rec(2003)24.asp#

I will strongly recommend you to read this document. A document like this may give us an opportunity to put palliative care on the national agenda, a recommendation like this without any national initiative will stay in the drawer of the bureaucrats. Soon, EAPC will also come with an initiative on how we possibly can join forces to raise the public and the professional awareness of palliative care by promoting this document.

Another interesting document was recently received by UICC and WHO “Global action against cancer” (download from WHO website in pdf). We have been in discussions with WHO and UICC about the document by pointing out the importance of even more clearly focus on palliative care in any global action against cancer. As you see on page 2 the directed general of WHO, Gro Harlem Brundtland addresses palliative care in her statement: “Pain relief and palliative care can improve the quality of life of cancer patients and families”.

We are in the process of finalising the program for the Research Forum of Stresa in 2004 with Franco De Conno as the chair of the Scientific Committee. The interest to present new research is overwhelming, we have received more than 300 hundred abstracts from colleagues all over the world. The abstracts have been evaluated by two independent evaluators per abstract, and selected for oral or poster by the scientific committee. The result of this process has been the basis for establishing the final program, which will be online by Februray this year.

Finally, let us know if you have any comments on what I have addressed, plans for the future or on how you would like to see EAPC address important palliative care issues in the future.

With kind regards,
Stein Kaasa
President EAPC