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STATEMENT: WeCare Chair highlights the importance of evaluating the desire to hasten death to alleviate suffering

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STATEMENT: WeCare Chair highlights the importance of evaluating the desire to hasten death to alleviate suffering

(Information sent by the signatory company)

During the workshop, the importance of systematically evaluating the needs of people who require palliative care was discussed, as well as support for professionals who must make ethical decisions in the face of suffering at the end of life.

Barcelona, ​​March 6, 2024.- The International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona) has hosted a new edition of the international workshop, which this year celebrated its tenth anniversary, organized by the WeCare Chair with the collaboration of Áltima and the Institut Català d'Oncology. Under the title "Professionals facing palliative needs and suffering", the meeting brought together last Friday, March 1, professionals from medicine, nursing, psychology, social work, and other fields that have contact with patients in the final stage of life.

"Currently 35% of patients admitted to Spanish hospitals need palliative care. This reinforces the need to have multidisciplinary teams specialized in palliative care that can comprehensively and humanely address the needs of patients in the final stage of life and of their families," says Dr. Joaquim Julià, co-director of the WeCare Chair. In this tenth edition of the workshop - Dr. Julià highlighted - we wanted to share with professionals in medicine, nursing, psychology and social work the different tools we have to systematically evaluate the needs of people who "They require palliative care, without forgetting the support and accompaniment that health professionals also need to make the best decisions in this area."

The meeting was attended by more than 130 health professionals from universities throughout Spain, hospitals and primary care centers, as well as entities and associations such as Áltima or the Institut Català d'Oncologia

Dr. Miguel Fombuena, head of the Internal Medicine Service at the Dr. Moliner Hospital in Valencia, was in charge of opening the day with the inaugural conference "Attention to palliative needs to reduce suffering in advanced illness." In his speech, Fombuena described palliative care as "the medicine of never leaving alone," and highlighted the importance of teamwork and self-care of professionals to reduce their suffering and thus be able to accompany the patient with empathy. respect and closeness. Likewise, the expert encouraged all professionals working in the field of palliative care "to be very aware of their limitations and strengths" to understand each patient's situation with an open mind and provide the best response to their needs.

The day continued with conferences by Dr. Blanca Goñi and Dr. Iris Crespo, focused on the evaluation of the need for palliative care from the perspective of the patient, family and professional; and the importance of agreeing on a clinical guideline to carry out this evaluation in the first visits.

Dr. Joaquim Julià was in charge of moderating the round table that followed, which, under the title "Advantages of the systematic approach to needs in palliative care", featured speakers such as Dr. Pablo Noguera, palliative doctor of the Grup Mutuam; Dr. Lina Nitola, palliative doctor at the Institut Català d'Oncologia de Badalona and Dr. María Jimeno, from the Cuides UIC Barcelona clinic.

About the Desire to Advance Death

The second part of the workshop focused on the Desire to Advance Death (DAM). Attendees were able to learn and discuss the clinical approach to DAM; how professionals evaluate it and how Spanish professionals manage it with the help of specialists in this topic such as Dr. Alberto Alonso, palliative doctor at the Pallitavos Unit of Hospital La Paz (Madrid); Dr. David Lorenzo, professor of Bioethics at the Borja Institute of Bioethics; Dr. Jaime Boceta, head of the Palliative Care support team at the Virgen Macarena University Hospital (Seville), Dr. Andrea Rodríguez, researcher at the WeCare Chair; Dr. Maria Nabal, palliative specialist at the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital in Lleida and Dr. Cristina Monforte, co-director of the WeCare Chair and international reference in the study and evaluation of DAM.

Dr. Oscar Rodríguez, psychiatrist at the prestigious Médica Sur Hospital (Mexico), gave the final presentation of the Workshop entitled "The desire to hasten death in advanced illness: how a psychiatrist helps us." After his intervention, Dr. Albert Balaguer, coordinator of the WeCare Chair, was in charge of closing the tenth edition of the international conference, which once again had the collaboration of Áltima and the Institut Català d'Oncologia. For more information:

Marta González Martínez Head of Communication for the Sant Cugat Campus T. 34 935 042 000. Ext: 5153 / 675 78 34 18 Josep Trueta, s/n 08195 Sant Cugat del Vallès

About UIC Barcelona

The International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona) was founded in 1997 with the aim of offering quality university education and promoting research as a service to society. Linked to the business world and with a marked international character, it teaches 16 degrees, 8 double degrees, around thirty international double degrees and a wide range of postgraduate programs on its two campuses, located in Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Vallés.

As part of its commitment to society, UIC Barcelona also has three university clinics located on the Sant Cugat Campus: the University Clinic of Dentistry, Support - University Clinic of Psychology and Psychiatry, and Cuides UIC Barcelona, ​​focused on patient care. with advanced illnesses and palliative care.

About the WeCare Chair: End of Life Care

The WeCare Chair: End of Life Care is created at the initiative of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and thanks to the collaboration of the company Áltima and the Institut Català d'Oncologia, in order to promote applied research, of an interdisciplinary and multidimensional nature, referring to the care of patients at the end of life in the area of ​​palliative care.

This Chair, directed by Dr. Joaquim Julià and Dr. Cristina Monforte, and coordinated by Dr. Albert Balaguer, aims to generate and disseminate knowledge about the needs and care of people with advanced diseases at the end of life, their families and caregivers.

Among its objectives, the commitment to raising society's awareness regarding the needs of end-of-life care stands out. The Chair has important collaborations, such as the Institut Català d'Oncologia (ICO) and Áltima, to be able to become an opinion leader in this matter.

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