Palliative care has featured again at a session at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam at the end of June 2017. There has been a developing collaboration between the EAN and the EAPC and in 2016 Professor Phil Larkin, President of the EAPC, and Professor Gunther Deuschl, President of the EAN, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalising this collaboration.
There was a session on End of life Care at the Congress, which over 50 people attended. Professor David Oliver, from the University of Kent and an EAPC Board member, spoke on the role of palliative care in neurology and the development of the Consensus document on neurological palliative care produced by the EAN and EAPC1. He spoke of the role of palliative care earlier in the disease progression and that this earlier care could profoundly influence the opportunity to provide end of lie care, allowing patients to die peacefully. Dr Simone Veronese from Turin presented the growing evidence base for palliative care for neurological patients, including the studies he led showing that quality of life and symptoms improved with palliative care – link.
Professor Christina Faull, from LOROS and De Montfort University, discussed the issues if withdrawal of treatment at the patient’s request. She encourage the delegates to consider the ethical and practical issues, particularly when withdrawing ventilation for a person with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis / motor neurone disease. She included recent research on the experiences of professionals and families following withdrawal of ventilation and the development of UK Guideline – link.
There was also the opportunity for representatives from the EAPC and EAN to meet. Professor Oliver, on behalf of Professor Phil Larkin, spoke with the EAN President elect – Professor Franz Fazekas – and Professor Marianne de Visser, Co-Chair of the Palliative Care Scientific Panel, in a very fruitful discussion during which the ongoing collaboration has been strengthened. The EAPC now has a Reference Group on Neurological Palliative Care, allowing continuing discussion with the EAN Scientific panel on palliative Care, both at present chaired by Professor Oliver. There is also increasing collaboration with other panels of the EAN, and involvement in the development of guidelines.
Professor David Oliver Professor Marianne de Visser
Co-Chair of Palliative Care Panel Co-Chair of Palliative Care Panel
- Oliver DJ, Borasio GD, Caraceni A, de Visser M, Grisold W, Lorenzl S, Veronese S, Voltz R. A consensus review on the development of palliative care for patients with chronic and progressive neurological disease. Eur J Neurol 2016; 23: 30-38. doi: 10.1111/ene.1288