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Harmonisation and Dissemination of Best Practice - Educating and alleviating the concerns of Health Care Professionals on the proper practice of End of Life care
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The proposed project will bring together leading academic institutions and researchers, including scholars from the Pontifical Academy for Life, UNESCO, EthiMed (the network of Mediterranean Bioethicists), the Fondazione San Raffaele and the Catholic University of Leuven as well as leading practitioners in the field from Malta, the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium and Holland. It will be addressing the critical issue of end of life treatment and, whilst repudiating euthanasia in all its forms, will examine the short comings of health care professionals, who at one extreme may be recommending extraordinary measures of nutrition, hydration and advanced life support systems at the very end of life and not accepting death as the inevitable outcome, and at the other extreme not even giving sufficient pain relief for those who need it for fear of hastening the patient's demise. There are morally acceptable guidelines, put forward by religious institutions including the Catholic Church, which can make the end of life more comfortable and which, indeed, can have a significant and disproportionate impact on the reduction of economic costs, although the latter is certainly not the main aim of the project. It is proposed that a curriculum framework and a complementary care protocol incorporating identified best practice from diverse jurisdictions throughout the European Union be developed and implemented in the fullest respect for ethical, moral, medical and socio-political considerations. A significant amount of analysis and research, networking, teaching and evaluation activities will be required to complement the research project as a whole. Due to the complexity of the relevant academic, medical, moral, ethical, legal and social issues involved, across the European Community, the project will definitely require as well close and continuous management of the deliverables in order to achieve the desired level of intellectual output. The project will also seek to identify effective training and political pathways for translating project outcomes into practice throughout the European Community.

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