22nd March 2017
In the 6th healthcare symposium, students and academicians from the Junior Cycle 2 class had an informative session on palliative care with the Chief Executive Officer of Hospis Malaysia, Dr Ednin Hamzah and a patient on palliative care, Captain Azman bin Abdul Aziz.
Dr Hamzah, who is also the Vice Chair for Asia Pacific Hospice Palliative Care Network, shared that the reality of healthcare is that it is not reaching all people in need. Common misconception about palliative care is that it is only for people that are dying or for the marginalised. The World Health Organisation has defined palliative care as “…an approach to improve the quality of life of patient and their families facing the problem associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.”
He advised students that if doctors focus on their own ideologies, doctors may lose a patient as the doctor can be too engrossed in discovering and treating an illness, and not focusing on the patient’s wellbeing. He also told the students to always remember to see from the patient’s point of view and to always give hope to patients.
The next speaker was Captain Azman, who was a retired army captain and led an active lifestyle by playing and coaching in various sports. In 2012, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had endured several cycles of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Several years later, it was discovered that the cancer had metastasized to his bones. In 2016, he had a fall and it caused him to lose his sight and become bedridden, until a month ago when he managed to walk with crutches.
Captain Azman shared from his heart, and implored the students to care for the patients they are treating in the future. He spoke from his experience, he had his share of good and caring doctors and also bad doctors that only spoke to him when they want to remove something from him. He reminded the students to get the patients involved in the decision-making process of treatment, and that patients don’t need sympathy but empathy.
Thank you for coming, Dr Hamzah and Captain Azman.
(From left to right): Dr Christina Liew, Captain Azman bin Abdul Aziz, Dr Ednin Hamzah and Associate Professor Dr Wana Hla Shwe.