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Inaugural Lecture: ‘Palliative Care at the Crossroads of Medicine and Society’

Inaugural Lecture:

‘Palliative Care at the Crossroads of Medicine and Society’

The Pal-Cycles consortium was delighted to be able to attend the inaugural lecture of Professor Jeroen Hasselaar, held on 9th November 2023 at Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

In his enlightening lecture, Professor Jeroen Hasselaar, who leads the Pal-Cycles project, shed light on the profound meaning of palliative care. He emphasised that it goes beyond the technical aspects of medicine and encompasses the social context of care and the provision of support. Care is not just a one-way delivery; it is a profound connection between individuals. Palliative care is not solely focused on death, but also on embracing the meaningful aspects of life. It is about living fully and being an active part of a vibrant and dynamic environment that includes work, school, community, religious activities, and more.

Many of the aspects of palliative care highlighted in the lecture are reflected in the Pal-Cycles project. Rather than focusing solely on improving medical care, the Pal-Cycles project aims to improve communication and collaboration in palliative care and to improve the transition of patients with palliative care needs to the environment in which they prefer to live out the rest of their lives. In this sense, Professor Hasselaar emphasised the concept of “social empowerment” and encouraged a broader social perspective on this issue, stressing that issues of life and death go beyond the medical sphere and shape the way individuals face these challenges in their social context, as well as the way society responds.

The 2017 Quality Framework for Palliative Care emphasises the significance of considering the wishes, values, and needs of patients and their families across various dimensions: physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. This framework serves as a guide for caregivers, providing insights on how to address the patient’s social context, including family dynamics, financial considerations, available support systems, and the re-establishment of connections. Ultimately, it aims to enhance the overall wellbeing of patients in a comprehensive sense.

This lecture concluded with a powerful message, stressing the importance of further exploring and emphasising the social dimension of palliative care through research and awareness. These aspirations are encompassed within the Pal-Cycles project

“Care includes more than a relationship between those demanding and those supplying care in a market model. Care is not a closed circuit, but an open and organic system, embedded in a social and societal perspective.”
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Professor Jeroen Hasselaar
Pal-Cycles Coordinator

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Press Release Pal-Cycles, an Intervention for Oncology

Pal-Cycles, an Intervention for Oncology 

On November 9 and 10, 2023, members of the EU-funded project “Pal-Cycles” convened in Nijmegen, Netherlands. The project, led by Professor Dr. Jeroen Hasselaar, Professor of Social Empowerment in Palliative Care at Radboudumc – Radboud University, is dedicated to optimising care planning for people with advanced cancer in need of palliative care. 

This project emphasizes the importance of studying what is meant by ‘transition’ (“spatial transition” and “transition of care”) in the clinical setting; Working on these definitions (and other concepts) will help to find elements that will make it possible to establish an optimal continuity of care for people suffering from advanced cancer.

At this meeting, the consortium group highlighted that a ´smooth transition´ is possible if we focus on the training The partnership between specialities can be the key to different levels of care and services working towards a common goal.

The Pal-Cycles project, currently in its second year, is dedicated to developing an integrated care model for people with advanced cancer and their families. The main goal is to enhance the quality of life and prepare the quality of care, through improving communication, supporting care planning, and providing specialised training to oncology clinicians. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2027.

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