The topic of this issue of Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention is Palliative and Hospice Care. In this issue, we have tried to focus on medical, psychosocial, organizational and other components of the Palliative and Hospice Care (PHC). This so far should reflect the fact that the PHC is very broad social reality which consists of and affects many social components and institutions - civic society, public health, human rights, education, spirituality, economy etc. This is the intersectoral and multidisciplinary approach which unites representatives of different disciplines as well as researchers, spiritual leaders, volunteers, NGO activists etc. with one aim: improve the life quality of those who finish their lives. Ideally, PHC aims to underline and announce the dignity of each human being and declare that each human matters. The slogan of one of the Polish Children’s Hospice is “Yet it is possible to help them”. This means that notwithstanding the physical and mental weakness of hospice clients’, the support should be provided. The PHC approach as a modern ideology is relatively new: 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Hospice Movement. The first modern hospice, St Christopher’s, was founded by Nurse Cicely Saunders who established the discipline of palliative care. She introduced the idea that dying people need dignity, compassion and respect. Since then, the PHC Movement developed and strengthened. Nonetheless, in many countries of the world there are no hospices or palliative care teams or other capacities to support those facing the problem of incurable disease. The Hospice movement is not well developed in countries of the former Soviet Union. So, one of this Issue’s goals is to advocate for PHC. This means, that we have tried to collect papers that reflect different components of PHC and represent them from the scientific point of view. In the Ukraine, for example, the advocacy of PHC among researchers and the medical establishment has encouraged the sustainable development of this type of care. Of course, the grass-roots initiatives started by patients, medical or Social Workers, Psychologists, Chaplains etc. are also very important. It is crucial that PHC is being supported locally, from beneath. Human rights of those who face incurable disease is the key element of development of the system of PHC. In conclusion, PHC is currently one of the most actual elements and needs in our society and for this reason it is extremely important to devote this Issue of Clinical Social Work and Health Intervention to this topic.
All-Ukrainian Association of Palliative and Hospice Care, Shupyk National Medical Academy of Postgraduate Education, Kyiv, Ukraine
Tropical International Team of St. Elizabeth