Freedom from Pain

Why Palliative Care will be Important to Millions

Each year millions of people fall ill with cancer, AIDS, and other potentially fatal diseases. An estimated 8.2 million[i] die every year from cancer. AIDS, another big killer, has claimed over 20.8 million[ii] lives since the start of the epidemic while another 37 million [iii] are currently infected with it worldwide.  Each year, millions suffer progressive, agonizing pain, and an increased likelihood of abandonment. On every level of their being, physically, mentally, and socially, the sick and terminally ill have lost stability. Even worse, every increase in their needs intensifies their helplessness.  Against the colossal dimensions of this personal and social suffering, the work of those who have taken up a relatively new approach in medicine, palliative care, seeks to holistically restore peace to these individuals and their families. 

The Human Rights Watch has observed that people with disease-related pain often express the same sentiments as victims of torture: saying that the pain is so unbearable that they would do anything to stop it. Surely it is a human right to die free of pain and at peace with both our loved ones and the God of our beliefs. Death is the destiny of all human beings, but certainly a death free from pain and emotional torment is a final loving gift.


[i] National Cancer Institute.  Retrieved on September 28, 2017, from   

 [ii] (2013). How many people have HIV and AIDS?  Retrieved on January 10th, 2013, from

[iii]amfAR: The Foundation for AIDS Research. (2012). The regional picture. Retrieved on January 8, 2013, from /