Kerala’s medical messiah to the terminally ill, Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, has been honoured with Padma Shri. He is the founder chairman of Pallium India, a palliative care non-governmental organization. He played a key role in the creation of the National Programme for Palliative Care and contributed to the amendment of the draconian Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985, allowing millions to access pain relief.
One of the doyens of Palliative Care, Dr Rajagopal explains: “Today, medicine focuses on the disease only, while palliative care looks at the person and the family. We consider the treatment of the disease important, but we consider the person and their family more important.”
For the very first time in India, a palliative care professional has been bestowed with Padma Shri. We hope to see palliative care in the public health institutions of country.