‘Care Beyond Cure’ is a documentary series about the global crisis in untreated pain and the dramatic life changing effect palliative care services can deliver to patients and their families around the world.
The documentary underlines the importance of good care beyond cure, where illness cannot be cured and patients need good quality care when they are facing end of life. Health care systems generally focus on intervention, care and treatment, but there needs to be focus beyond this when cure is not possible.
"Part of the mentality of medicine is a fix-it mentality, we are living in this sort of consumer society where there are black and white solutions to things, and if you can't fix a problem then you don't want to deal with it because it's not something practical. I think people have put a much lower priority on the caring aspects of community, where we are now facing up to chronic disease, problems that can not be fixed so we have to live with them, and how do we live better with them, so I think pain control gets into that category of things," says Dr Cynthia Goh.
Dr Jim Cleary explains that by listening to the patients concerns and working with them to relieve their pain the patient was able to make a more informed decision and was kept comfortable. It allows patients good quality of life and kept them relatively pain free until they die, allowing them to fully engage with their family during their final months.
Dr Charles Von Gunten points out, “Human illness is not just an aberration in the DNA, a bacterium that gets in the wrong place, a malfunction of a muscle somewhere. It's a person experiencing the consequences of that disease. Medicine, good medicine takes care of someone in their physical, emotional, practical and spiritual fears, those are all the responsibility of a doctor, they're all the responsibilities of a nurse, and the health care system as a whole.”
The project is presented by the Lien Foundation and produced by Moonshine Movies, supported by The International Association for the Study of Pain, The Mayday Fund, The Union for International Cancer Control and The Institute for Palliative Medicine at San Diego Hospice International Programs.