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Recommendations on Palliative Care 24 (2003)

General Information on COE Report on Euthanasia

Recommendation REC 24 (2003) of the Committee of Ministers
End of 2003 the COE released a document on palliative care with the title “Recommendation REC 24 (2003) of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the organisation of Palliative Care” which was approved and adopted on 12 November 2003, by all ministers of Health in the 45 countries in the Council of Europe. Each Ministry of Health has received copies of the document in either English or French.

English version

  Click on the language name to download
Albanian Italy
Armenian Latvian
Croatian Lithuanian
Czech Polish
Dutch Romanian
French Russian
Georgian Serbian
German Swedish
Greek Turkish
Hungarian  Ukraine

 View the Ministers' Deputies CM Documents CM(2003)130 Addendum (restricted) 15 October 2003

This report is the product of intense collaborative work involving a range of participants from many countries. The final recommendations, supported by the accompanying memorandum, define a new standard in palliative care provision across member states.

Specifically, member states have now agreed to adopt policies, legislative and other measures necessary for a coherent and comprehensive national policy framework for palliative care. The report recognises that palliative care is a vital and integral part of health services. Any person who needs palliative care should be able to access such care without undue bureaucracy or delay, and in a setting that is consistent with individual need and choice. The report highlights the need for structured programmes of education, training and research.

The decision to adopt this report is indicative of the commitment of member states to develop palliative care services to the highest possible standards. The success of this report will be judged on the extent to which we develop and implement programmes of palliative care, that are capable of reaching out and addressing the needs of individual patients and families throughout the 45 member states.

Shared action on the Recommendations on palliative care
When adopting the report, member states agreed to promote international networking between palliative care agencies, and further agreed to support an active, targeted dissemination of these recommendations.

The EAPC Board of Directors decided to promote a shared action on those Recommendations on palliative care 24(2003). In February 2004 the EAPC East Centre in Stockholm contacted the EAPC Collective members and other National Associations to propose a common action with the goal to make these approved and signed palliative care recommendations well known by professionals, health care administrators and politicians and also lay people and spread all over Europe.

When: the activities were focused around the second week of October 2004 with the peak on October 11.

How: Local organisers in palliative care organisations in collaboration with EAPC-east office have translated, printed and distributed the recommendations. The recommendations have become a tool to use for information and lobbying. A media campaign, seminars and discussions have been the means to spread the content of the recommendations.

The translations have in many cases been done totally on a voluntary basis and in “spare” time. The recommendations are available in: Croatian, Dutch, English, French, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian so far….! This means that more than 600 million Europeans, politicians, professionals, general public etc will be able to read the recommendations in their own language.

In most languages the recommendations will be printed in the same format and will therefore look the same. Printing costs have been hard to obtain in some countries and easier in others but efforts have been made and many have successfully received funding for printing.

Copies in English and French
Some did not succeed to achieve funding and if you do not have translations made in your language and would like to spread and work with the recommendations there will be printed copies available through the Council of Europe. They will print copies in English and in French. If you are interested in receiving copies in English or French please get in touch with Piotr Mierzewski.

Press Conferences in October
In Hungary, Poland and Sweden press conferences with were held on October 11. Media representatives were invited and many responded to the calls. The activities have led to radio, TV and newspaper interviews and reports. In Poland the minister of health was present at the press conference as well as a representative from the Council of Europe who also attended. In Sweden the health minister has also been personally informed about the Recommendations. This was a good opportunity to get in touch and discuss palliative care on a national level. We know that there have been palliative care conferences in Croatia and in Serbia in October and the Recommendations have been in focus also there. We know of plans to write reports in national medical journals. There are still great opportunities to use the Recommendations in all the countries of Europe, we have just started. particularly in those where a blot of personal effort have made translations available.

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