The Rotary Club of Bangkok sponsored a Palliative Care Training on Oct. 20 in Lopburi Province. It was attended by 87 members of the provincial healthcare personnel, comprising mostly village healthcare volunteers, a few physicians and nurses. The Rotary Club of Phranarai Lopburi, an all-female Rotary club, coordinated in local facilities, including the recruitment of the audience.

We see the need to educate rural people, not about palliative care practices in particular, but the financial consequences of giving “futile treatment” (a medical terminology) in prolonging a life that would never get a quality living at the end stage of a bedridden patient.

Lecturers on the topics covered in the training, Medical, Legal, and Nursing, were invited from the country’s top experts in their respective fields.
· Assoc. Prof. Chanchai Sittipant, MD, Ph.D.
Deputy Dean of Chulalongkorn University Medical School, an expert in Critical Care Medicine, Mechanical Ventilation, Intensive Care Medicine, ICU Lung Diseases, and Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
· Prof. Sawaeng Boonchalermvipas
Professor Ameritus, Thammasat University Law School, author of Article 12 of the National Health Act (the advanced directive, aka, the “Living will”)
· Panta Apiraknapanunt, Ph.D.
St. Louise Nursing School, St. Louise Hospital College, an expert in training practitioners of caregiving to bedridden patients in many countries

All three lecturers pointed to the same conclusion that the best environment for bedridden patients in the last stage of their lives is not in the ICU, but to “die at peace” in the familiar environment at home, treated with alternative practices of palliative care, surrounded by their loved ones, but not suffering the painstaking invasive treatments in the ICU, where the patients are constantly disturbed by medical staff who make rounds to check the monitors and invasive tubes inserted in their frail bodies.

RCB was represented by Pres. Maleeratna, Foundation Director Dr. Lalita Hongratanawong and her Deputy PP. Dr. Charles Chueng, PP. Chamnong Watanagase, Deputy Director, on behalf of Community Servive Director Danu Chotikapanich, PE Pornchai Wesatada and his Rotary Anne (Khun Tu).

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