It has been said that "Death with dignity is better than life with humiliation". It is an affirmation of what most of us secretly hope for. In India, a dignified death is a difficult proposition. A TOI report says that of the 9 million deaths every year in India, nearly 6 million need some kind of palliative care. The fact that most do not have access to it, is altogether another matter.The same article throws up a shocking reality- 80% of the palliative care centres in India are situated in one state, Kerala ( with 3% of the nation's population).
Sharon Cancer Centre in Salem, TN, has just been renovated to serve as the largest palliative centre in our region. Most Doctors, over the years, have been obsessed with strategies and means of prolonging life without actually considering the quality of life. Palliative care focuses on providing care for the hopelessly sick by helping patients and family to cope with their physical pain and disability. While palliative care can sometimes be given along with their treatment, most patients admitted for end of life care will receive very little in the form of therapeutic interventions.
The staff at Sharon's palliative facility have been carefully chosen, keeping in mind the special needs of patients with advanced disease. The doctors, nurses, counsellors and social workers form a tight and empathetic group of specially trained personnel committed to making the life of terminally ill patients comfortable and dignified.
The premises have been carefully structured and planned keeping in mind the special needs of our patients. The verdant campus, situated in sylvan surroundings at the foothills of the Shevarayan hills, is a pleasant blend of natural beauty and functional efficiency. The buildings are disability friendly and well equipped to handle the unique needs of our special patients.
Sharon palliative centre was conceived as a non profit establishment committed to egalitarian principles that will not discriminate on the basis of type of diseases, social status, race, religion, language or ethnic background.
However in the absence of any external funding the management will strive to run it at a minimum fee to cover actual expenditure. A percentage of the beds will be reserved for indigent and extremely poor patients who will be screened by a select panel. Sharon palliative care currently provides clean and airy housing, bed and linen. Diet plans and pain medication is provided on an actual cost basis. Specially trained palliative nursing is covered in the base costs. Surgical or medical interventions are generally not curative and meant only for alleviating pain and discomfort through licensed narcotic medications and limited toilet or pain relieving surgeries. Special requirements including visits by external consultants can be obtained on request through the administration. Special needs like private rooms, air conditioning etc can be made available at cost price but all general services are charged on a flat affordable fee structure. We look forward to volunteers from the public, who can provide solace, comfort or mere companionship.
Sharon will also expand its services to include domiciliary care where nurses and social workers will make periodic visits to homes to counsel, advice and intervene for terminal patients needing home care. Placement of trained male or female nurses for continuous home care will eventually be rolled out later to meet in -house domiciliary care needs.
Those willing to offer their services on a voluntary basis are requested to contact Dr Karthik Rajaratinam 9894027274
IF YOU KNOW ANYBODY WHO NEEDS HOSPICE, PAIN OR PALLIATIVE CARE PLEASE CONTACT Dr Kartik Rajaratinam 9894027274