80% of the world's population lacks access to adequate pain relief.
Opioid analgesics, including morphine, are considered essential medicines by the World Health Organization,
yet 17% of the world’s population consumes 92% of the global annual use of morphine despite its low cost of a few cents per unit. In the world's poorest countries, a patient with pain dying from HIV/AIDS or cancer consumes an average of 200 milligrams of morphine, while the average consumption for a patient in the world's richest
countries is 99,000 milligrams. HIV/AIDS and cancer are two of the most common illnesses
we face today: both result in intense, end-of-life pain.
Palliative care is the holistic management of physical, psychological, and spiritual problems faced by people with life-threatening illnesses. Palliative care covers the basics, so that patients can live their lives free from pain. Worldwide, only about 14% of people who need palliative care receive it. It is a fundamental health and human right that gives everyone dignity at the end of life. It can easily be provided at the time of diagnosis alongside curative treatment. One of the primary barriers to widespread palliative care is a misunderstanding
about the medical use of narcotics amongst medical professionals.
Imagine that you find out that you are dying. What do you want to do before you die? What is on your bucket list?