Parel-based Palcare is a recently established Palliative Care center in Mumbai that treats people with terminal illness, primarily cancer, set up by Pheroza Bilimoria in December 2015, with help from the Tata Trusts and industrialist Anand Mahindra. Palcare, which comprises a team of fifteen, including doctors and nurses, and is currently treating two hundred and fifty-one patients at their homes, provides home-based care patients in keeping with their preference to pass away at home, surrounded by their loved ones, not ‘hooked up to hundreds of tubes in a hospital’. “The medical system here is geared towards looking for cures. But sometimes you have to let go,” quoted Pheroza Bilimoria, a former publishing professional, who lost her husband, Jimmy to lung cancer in 2013. She had hoped that he would be cured, and since money was not a constraint, they rushed from one hospital to another but in vain, and Jimmy died a difficult death.
Palliative care is more than simply end-of-life care, it comprises providing medical treatment and psychological support to patients with life-limiting diseases. While a massive void still exists in palliative care in India, the need for this practice is gaining priority. India has two hundred and sixty-nine palliative care centres, of which one hundred and sixty-nine are in Kerala.