End of life: “patients in the palliative phase have the impression that they no longer have their place in society”

End of life patients in the palliative phase have the

This Wednesday, April 10, the end-of-life bill will be presented to the Council of Ministers. It authorizes, under conditions, assistance in dying for certain patients who make this request. A promise from Emmanuel Macron who was committed to developing palliative care because half of French people who need it do not have access to it. A plan for the next 10 years has therefore just been announced. Palliative care aims to ensure the best possible quality of life for patients suffering from serious and incurable illnesses.

On either side of a long corridor with burgundy walls, around ten rooms dedicated to palliative care. Patients, all suffering from a serious, progressive and incurable illness, benefit from special support here.

The mission of palliative care is for patients to be as well as possible, even if the illness is there and continues to evolve. This is how I explain it to my patients. Your illness is there and we here can do nothing for it. This does not mean that we cannot do anything for you, we can do many things so that, despite the illness, you get as well as possible, explains Dr Ségolène Perruchio, head of the palliative care service. We have developed skills, particularly in the management of pain, but also the management of other symptoms and in relational, psychological and social care, to be able to support people in this end-of-life phase. . »

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Take time

Lying in bed, the patient, although weakened, smiles. Corinne Prat, socio-esthetician, applies lotion and delicately massages the patient’s face, which gradually relaxes.

The goal is to help them feel their body, no longer as an object of pain, but also to reintegrate sensory pleasure, to try until the end of life, to offer beauty, to also offer a more rewarding image to of the family, she specifies. I have had requests for makeup for a wedding that takes place within the department, for a birthday, for a lady who is expecting her son who is arriving from the United States and to offer her an image of an elegant person. until the end. »

Available to families and patients, a pretty lounge with large bay windows, with sofas, coffee tables and games for children. We see Marie-Gaëlle, in her forties. Her sister is terminally ill with cancer. “ The priority for us is that she does not suffer. They know how to manage and they remain very attentive, comfort and the little pleasures of everyday life are really taken into account. »

Even if we are at this end of life where we know that time is limited, we have time with our patients. The time we spend with our patients, I think it also reminds them that they are important, that they count. And very often, patients who are in the palliative phase, when they arrive after a long medical journey, often have the impression that they no longer count, that they no longer have their place in society. », testifies Lucile Rolland Piègue, clinical psychologist. Here, we therefore give them a place of life again, even if life is in the process of dying out.

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