Senior Scholar to Present at Vatican

Senior Scholar John Keown will be contributing to the Vatican’s International Congress on Palliative Care, to be held Feb. 28 – March 1 in Rome. The event, titled “Palliative Care: Everywhere and by Everyone”, is organized by the Pontifical Academy for Life, of which both Keown and Senior Scholar Daniel Sulmasy are members. This event will also mark the official start of the PAL-LIFE Project, an international program launched by the Pontifical Academy for Life to promote palliative care globally.

The Congress aims to promote dialogue and cooperation between different stakeholders in palliative care practice and advocacy. Topics to be discussed will include the value of palliative care for medicine, health care and society, and the impact of different religious faith and spiritual perspectives on care for the dying. In addition, speakers will explore the political and financial implications of providing palliative care.

Keown is presenting a poster at the Congress, on the ethical and legal duty to provide palliative care. The four Key Points of his presentation are that:

  • – There is a massive, global need, especially in poorer countries, for palliative care;
  • – There is an obvious ethical duty, especially on wealthier countries, to meet that need, which could be met at little cost;
  • – Depending on the jurisdiction, there may well be a legal duty on physicians and on healthcare institutions to provide reasonable palliative care;
  • – There may be, under various human rights instruments, a human right to palliative car