Ep. 347 The Global Palliative Care Movement with Katherine Pettus

Learn about the status of palliative care in developing nations around the world and how IAHPC is working to increase global access.

My guest Katherine Pettus is the Senior Advocacy Director for The International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care. In this role she meets with delegates at the United Nations to increase the understanding of palliative care and to advocate for improved availability of opioids for patients needing pain relief. She is the author of Global Palliative Care: Reports from the Peripheries, which describes her visits to communities around the world to witness firsthand their utilization of palliative care. Learn more about the work of IAHPC at the website:


Listen here:

This episode includes:

  • Why 80% of the world’s population has no access to morphine
  • How Hospice Africa Uganda is utilizing powdered morphine for pain relief and also allows nurses to prescribe it in the field
  • Why palliative care teams are good at “sideways thinking” to solve problems that arrive in the moment
  • How caregiving is a crisis everywhere in the world right now (except Costa Rica that provides support for family caregivers)
  • Why the extended family is becoming a myth in developing nations
  • What is the “health poverty trap” and how lack of access to palliative care contributes to it
  • How the Western model of medicalized death is spreading to developing nations
  • Expanding palliative care helps medical systems and medical providers as well
  • How a “palliative care peace corps” could transform society
  • How COVID has affected the global palliative care movement

Palliative Care transforms everyone who participates in it.” 

Katherine Pettus in Global Palliative Care: Reports from the Peripheries

Links mentioned in this episode:

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