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India’s ’father of palliative care’ brings message of community compassion to B.C.

Author: Clare Hennig
17 April 2018

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. M.R. Rajagopal says while diseases can be cured, suffering is often not treated

India's "father of palliative care" is touring North America, spreading a message of compassion and how to involve the whole community in medical care.

Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, or Dr. Raj as he's known to patients and colleagues, made two stops in British Columbia — in Victoria and Vancouver — to speak at palliative care events and screen a movie about his life's work called Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World.

The documentary refers to Greek physician Hippocrates' belief that a doctor's duty is to cure sometimes, treat often and to comfort always. 

Dr. Rajagopal is renowned for advocating for comfort and compassion above all. 

"That's something the global medical system seems to have forgotten completely," he told Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition.

"I can help my patients only if I can also persuade the medical system to be compassionate." 

The message in Dr. Rajagopal's new film is that gentle actions can shake the world. (Screenshot from Hippocratic/Moonshine Agency )

Loneliness in care

Dr. Rajagopal, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, said the technological advances that have made diagnosis and treatment of so many diseases possible is great but "aggressive disease-focused care" often doesn't treat the pain of suffering.

"When I go into hospices, I find a lot of lonely people," he said. "There are lonely aging people out there in the community also." Read more...

See more articles in Care

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