Since the Ebola outbreak of 2014–2016, there has been increasing attention on the need for palliative care in emergency settings, but a lack of evidence and practical guidance has hampered humanitarian practitioners’ efforts to provide it in different contexts. This study examined the ethical and practical experiences, challenges and possibilities of humanitarian organisations integrating palliative care into their emergency responses.
The study findings have influenced new World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on integrating palliative care into humanitarian responses and new palliative care standards in the fourth edition of the Sphere Handbook, both published in 2018. Given the high profile of these sources, this represents a significant contribution to supporting practitioners implementing palliative care in emergency settings. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Spain has also reported changes to its strategic plans and internal guidelines for field staff.
R2HC captures detailed case studies through a process that triangulates and validates evidence on uptake and impact. The case study methodology and full version of this summary case study including references are available on request. Outputs and resources from this study are available on the project page.
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