Palliative Care as a Human Right: Fact Sheet

May 1, 2011
This fact sheet discusses the recognition of palliative care under international human rights laws, and offers recommendations for governments to promote, protect, and ensure access to palliative care.
  • Of the 58 million people who die each year, the World Health Organization estimates that 60% would benefit from palliative care.
  • Severe pain can be managed with inexpensive oral morphine, in a tablet or powder form, which is declared an essential medicine by the World Health Organization. It is not protected by patent and can be produced for as little as US$0.01per milligram.
  • Low and middle income countries account for only 6% of morphine use worldwide, but have about half of all cancer patients, and 95% of all new HIV infections.
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