Irene J. Higginson

Professor of Palliative Care and Policy King's College London, Director of Cicely Saunders Institute (UK)

Across the globe populations are ageing, facing more chronic illnesses, often occurring at the same time. This leads to people to experience many complex symptoms, often on average 13 or 14 different symptoms, as well as other emotional, social and spiritual needs. This affects everyone. Religions of the world can help to change the taboos of illness and dying and advocate for care and services according to need, rather than location, culture or diagnosis. This Charter and Workshop can help to transform available services towards approaches in palliative care that put the person before their disease and are based on best evidence. The services should monitor the outcomes of care, counter any ageism, and support research and education into better treatments. I am delighted to be part of this first ever attempt to create a global agreement for change through religions of the world.


Every older person with chronic or incurable illness has the right to receive Palliative Care.

The goal of Palliative Care is to take care of the person in totality even when there is no longer a cure. This care foresees a team of different and diverse professional figures: doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social and religious assistants helping patients and their families.

Palliative Care is not a palliative.

Together we have the opportunity to spread the meaning and the profound value of Palliative Care and sensitize every country so that it may become an integral part of every national healthcare system.