Words of Welcome
EAPC President’s Welcome
Dear Congress participant,
Welcome to the EAPC World Congress in Copenhagen!
This Congress has adopted the motto of ‘building bridges’ and this is reflected in thespectacular images of beautifully designed bridges connecting the islands and mainland of Denmark, and across the sea to Sweden. The metaphor for bridges works well for the connections that we hope you will make during the Congress, perhaps to new people, teams and ideas. Palliative care is a multidisciplinary enterprise and we can gain much by our willingness to build bridges to those working in other health care areas.
The well-known song released by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel on 26th January 1970 called ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’, has, to me, a special resonance with what we aspire to achieve in palliative care. It paints a picture of the importance of acknowledging the physical and psychological state of the person and being with them in their time of need:
‘When you are weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes,
I will dry them all
I am on your side
When times get rough’
It offers hope that palliative care will embrace all aspects of suffering, including pain management:
‘When evening falls so hard
I will comfort you
I’ll take your part
When darkness comes
And pain is all around’
The song ends on a positive note with the promise: ‘I will ease your mind’. This reminds us that palliative care is about helping to ease suffering in its broadest sense.
At the Congress, we will be reporting the outcomes of the Prague Charter which was launched at the EAPC World Congress in Prague as a joint action advocating for palliative care as a human right. This built upon previous EAPC initiatives such as Budapest Commitments and the Lisbon Challenge. We welcome you to join with us in an international united effort to improve access to high quality palliative care.
I want to offer special thanks to Professor Irene Higginson and Professor Carlo Leget who have co-chaired the Scientific Committee and also acknowledge the important contribution of the members of the scientific committee. Grateful thanks are due to Fiona Wong who has worked closely with Professor Higginson. I am indebted to our international advisory board that have provided detailed and insightful reviews on all the proffered abstracts. For the first time we have obtained three independent reviews for each abstract. Special thanks go to Professor Per Sjøgren, Marlene Sandvad and the local organizing committee for their commitment to ensuring the success of this Congress. As always, the EAPC Head Office team, Heidi Blumhuber, Dr. Amelia Giordano and Dr Julie Ling have supported the Congress.
Thank you to our efficient and hard working congress organisers, Interplan.
Professor Sheila Payne
President of the European Association for Palliative Care