Palliative Care Law – The Palliative Care Law was sanctioned
On July 5, the new national palliative care law was passed in Argentina (Law No. 27,678). Its purpose is to ensure the patient access to comprehensive palliative care benefits in the public, private and social security spheres, and support for their families.
With 218 affirmative votes and one negative, the Chamber of Deputies sanctioned the law that seeks to protect and guarantee the right to life and health in an integral sense, equity in access to benefits, dignity and autonomy of the patient in decisions about treatment and care.
The purpose of the law is to develop an interdisciplinary and comprehensive care strategy focused on the person, which addresses the physical, mental, social and spiritual needs of patients suffering from chronic or degenerative diseases.
Likewise, the law aims to promote “access to both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies available and based on scientific evidence for palliative care”; and promote “graduate and postgraduate professional training, continuing education, and research in palliative care.”
In this context, palliative care is defined as “a model of care that improves the quality of life of patients and families facing the problems associated with life-threatening or life-limiting illnesses, through the prevention and relief of suffering through early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychological, social and spiritual problems”.
We must also highlight that the law contemplates the accompaniment of the patient and his family through the creation of assistance networks at the different levels of the health system and interdisciplinary support teams specialized in the subject.
In addition, it is determined that social works and prepaid medicine entities must cover palliative care for people who need it.
For the entry into force of the law, its approval by the Executive Branch is still pending.
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