Mexican children with cancer don’t receive palliative care

It can’t be said that Mexico has an efficient health system since ill children don’t receive palliative care

Mexican children with cancer don’t receive palliative care
In Mexico, thousands of terminally ill children don’t receive proper care - Photo: Jorge Serratos/EL UNIVERSAL
English 16/02/2020 09:39 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:45
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Having a terminal illness is a tragedy in itself but when it affects a child who belongs to a family with limited resources, the illness becomes a painful ordeal for the child and their family, as well as for the doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who can’t do anything for them because of the lack of resources and restricted budgets which limit or prevent them from offering sick children a peaceful and painless death.

Among all terminal illnesses, cancer is the most terrible one because it doesn’t only deteriorate the physical state of the patient, it also generates such intense pain that requires the use of strong analgesics such as morphine but when dealing with children, they require more than morphine, they also require attention and kindness.

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Moreover, it is essential to prevent terminally ill children from suffering. Although people say it is better for terminally ill patients to spend their last days at home, surrounded by their loved ones and not in a cold hospital bed, a recommendation made by doctors when they feel overwhelmed by an illness they can’t eradicate; however, the truth is that there should be a special place for terminally ill patients which focuses on the reduction of pain and offers a kind atmosphere. This leads to question the role of the government and its solidarity toward cancer patients.

Mexico’s health system is not only meant to save lives, but it is also supposed to provide a good quality of life to terminally ill patients so that they don’t suffer in their last days. However, while health authorities maintain their treatment of terminally ill children, whether they are 16,000 or only 1, suffering terrible pain and while they don’t have the possibility to access palliative care, it can’t be said that Mexico has a fair and efficient health system.

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