M. R. Rajagopal

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M. R. Rajagopal
Dr. M. R Rajagopal.jpg
Born (1947-09-23) 23 September 1947 (age 74)
Trivandrum, Kerala, India
NationalityIndian
EducationMedical graduation from Medical College, Trivandrum. Post graduate from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Years active1994 – present
Known forPioneer in Palliative Medicine in India
Medical career
ProfessionDoctor of medicine
InstitutionsMedical College, Trivandrum; Medical College, Calicut; Pain and Palliative Care Society, Calicut; Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences, Trivandrum
Sub-specialtiesAnesthesiology, Palliative Medicine
ResearchPalliative Medicine

M. R. Rajagopal (born 23 September 1947) is an Indian palliative care physician referred to as the 'father of palliative care in India'[1][2] in honour of his significant contribution to the palliative care scene in India.[3][4][5][6][7]

Rajagopal is the Founder Chairman of Pallium India, a palliative care non-governmental organisation formed in 2003 and based in Kerala, India.[8][9]

Rajagopal was the prime mover in the creation of the National Program for Palliative Care (NPPC) by the Ministry of Health of Government of India.

His advocacy has contributed to amendment of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of India in 2014 and in its implementation—a critical step in reducing needless suffering and allowing millions to access pain relief.[10]

A documentary film based on Rajagopal's life, titled 'Hippocratic: 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World'[11] was released by Moonshine Agency, Australia, on World Palliative Care Day, 14 October 2017.[12][13][14][15]

In 2018, the Indian Government honoured Rajagopal with the Padma Shri award, "one of the highest civilian awards"[16] instituted in India for distinguished service.[17][18]

He published his memoir 'Walk with the Weary'[19] in 2022, where he shares lessons he learned while walking along the road of life limiting illness with people who changed his outlook on what matters the most when living with a critical illness, and also at the end of life.[20][21][22]

Rajagopal has co-authored many Lancet Commission reports and was one of the authors of the report on 'Value of Death' published in 2022.[1]

Positions held[edit]

Rajagopal holds the following positions:

  • Chairman of Pallium India[23]
  • Director, W.H.O Collaborating Centre for Policy and Training on Access to Pain Relief (Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences)[24]
  • Member, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation Board[25]

Rajagopal is on the editorial board of several international journals and has authored/edited two textbooks, several book chapters (including Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine) and more than 30 publications in scientific journals.

Current involvement with scientific journals:

  • Member, Editorial Board, Indian Journal of Palliative Care.[26]
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.[27]
  • Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.
  • Member, Editorial Board, Palliative Care: Research and Treatment.[28]
  • Member, Editorial Board, Pain: Clinical Updates; International Association for Study of Pain.[29]

Achievements[edit]

Rajagopal is one of the founders of Pain and Palliative Care Society (PPCS) in Medical College, Calicut, Kerala in 1993.[30] In 1995, PPCS was recognized as a model demonstration project by the World Health Organization for community based palliative care activities. It set up an Institute of Palliative Medicine (IPM), with numerous link centres.

Since 1996, Rajagopal has been working with the WHO Collaborating Center at Madison-Wisconsin and with Government of India to improve opioid availability in India.[citation needed]

In 2003, he with colleagues created Pallium India, a registered charitable trust with the intention of spreading palliative care to areas in India where they did not exist, and for palliative care advocacy. By 2016, the organization reached 15 of India's 29 states. In 2006, Pallium India created the Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences (TIPS) as its training, research and clinical demonstration unit. In 2012, TIPS was declared a WHO Collaborating Centre.[citation needed]

He was elected as Lifetime International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC) Board Advisor in 2012.[31]

Rajagopal is one of the five lead authors of the Lancet Commission report published in October 2017,[32] which pointed out that more than 61 million people live in pain and suffering worldwide every year without access to palliative care. The report describes a possible global strategy for correction in this huge inequity in care and suggests and a low-cost essential package which could remedy the situation.[33][34][35]

Rajagopal's contribution has been significant in bringing the Parliament of India to amend the draconian Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of 1985. The Amendment was passed in 2014 Feb.[36][37][38]

In 2014, Rajagopal was honored by Human Rights Watch with Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism,[39] in recognition of his efforts to defend the right of patients to live and die with dignity.

In 2017, Rajagopal was named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine by American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM).[40]

The Government of India, in 2018, honoured Rajagopal with the Padma Shri award, "one of the highest civilian awards"[16] for distinguished service in healthcare.[17][18]

Rajagopal published his memoir 'Walk with the Weary'[19] in 2022, sharing his journey as a palliative care advocate and practitioner.[20][21][22]

Rajagopal co-authored many Lancet Commission reports including the 'Value of Death' report published in 2022.[2]

Awards and honours[edit]

  • Government of India's Padma Shri award in 2018[17]
  • Visionary in Hospice and Palliative Medicine by American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine[41]
  • Healers of India award instituted by Appollo Hospitals and Network18.[42][43][44]
  • Navjeevan Inspiration of the Year award[45]
  • T.N.G Award conferred in memory of T. N. Gopakumar, the late Editor in Chief of Asianet News, in January 2017.[46][47][48]
  • Cancer Aid Society Annual Award for Excellence and Leadership in Palliative Care for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Countries[49]
  • Kairali People Doctors Award, 2015.[50]
  • Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism by Human Rights Watch in 2014.[51]
  • Dr Palpu Memorial award, Dr Palpu Foundation, November 2012[52]
  • Award for Excellence in Pain Management in Developing Countries: International Association for Study of Pain, Montreal, Canada. October 2009[53][54]
  • Marie Nyswander award, International Association for Pain and Chemical Dependency, New York, 31 October 2008[55]
  • "Care and Share" annual award for Social work. "Care and Share", USA, February 2007.[56]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jr, Donald G. Mcneil (11 September 2007). "In India, a Quest to Ease the Pain of the Dying". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  2. ^ "The father of palliative care: Dr Raj". ABC Radio Perth. 23 October 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  3. ^ "On Dying Happy, On Dying Well". Saritorial.com. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  4. ^ "M. R. Rajagopal, MD". International Palliative Care Resource Centre. Archived from the original on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  5. ^ "A Visit with The Father of Palliative Care in India". Global Health Immersion Programs. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  6. ^ "MR Rajagopal: The man who spearheaded efforts to improve access to morphine". The Economic Times. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  7. ^ "M. R. Rajagopal". International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care (IAHPC). Archived from the original on 3 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Caring for the Terminally Ill and Those in Pain, This Man Has Helped Thousands". The Better India. Archived from the original on 13 April 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  9. ^ "The extraordinary doctor who makes a difference". Rediff.com. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  10. ^ "A Push for Balanced Drug Policy Is Transforming Pain Relief in India". Open Society Foundations. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 3 April 2016.
  11. ^ "Hippocratic". Hippocratic Film. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2017.
  12. ^ "Man on a mission to reduce unnecessary suffering". Palliative Care Australia. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Film review: Hippocratic – 18 Experiments in Gently Shaking the World". eHospice International. Archived from the original on 1 June 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  14. ^ "India's father of palliative care gently shakes Australia with his insights and wisdom". Palliative Care Australia. Archived from the original on 28 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  15. ^ "The Hippocratic Oath". ehospice Kenya. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Padma Awards". www.padmaawards.gov.in. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  17. ^ a b c "Government announces recipients of 2018 Padma awards". The Times of India. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Padma awards for 'unsung heroes'". The Hindu Business Line. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Death without suffering".
  20. ^ a b "Tharoor: Memoir by Pallium India Founder Released | Thiruvananthapuram News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  21. ^ a b "M. R. Rajagopal". www.amazon.in. Retrieved 6 April 2022.
  22. ^ a b "M. R. Rajagopal".
  23. ^ "Kerala, a role model in palliative care". The Hindu. 14 July 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  24. ^ "TIPS declared as a WHO Collaborating Centre". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  25. ^ "Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation Board". Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  26. ^ "Indian Journal of Palliative Care Editorial Board". Indian Journal of Palliative Care. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Editorial Board". Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  28. ^ "Palliative Care: Research and Treatment". LA Press. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  29. ^ "PAIN: Clinical Updates". International Association for the Study of Pain. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  30. ^ "Doctor Who Takes Pain Out of Terminal Ailments". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  31. ^ "M.R. Rajagopal - International Association for Hospice & Palliative Care". hospicecare.com. Retrieved 2 June 2022.
  32. ^ "Alleviating the access abyss in palliative care and pain relief—an imperative of universal health coverage: the Lancet Commission report". The Lancet. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  33. ^ "Study rues inequity in access to pain relief". The Hindu. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  34. ^ "World Palliative Care Day: 'Palliative care inadequate'". Deccan Chronicle. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  35. ^ "Study puts a count to suffering people in need of palliative care". The Indian Express. 13 October 2017. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  36. ^ "A fight for life and death with dignity". The Indian Express. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  37. ^ Maya, C. (22 February 2014). "Passing of NDPS Act Amendment Bill will make morphine more accessible". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  38. ^ "Why cancer patients are cheering a recent change in the narcotics law". ScrollIn News. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  39. ^ "Rights Activists Honored". Human Rights Watch. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  40. ^ "Visionaries in Hospice and Palliative Medicine". American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  41. ^ "US honour for Pallium India founder". The Hindu. 16 March 2018. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  42. ^ "Honoured". The Hindu. 30 March 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  43. ^ "Apollo Hospitals in partnership with Network18 celebrate the 'Healers of India' at a gala event in New Delhi". Appollo Hospitals. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  44. ^ "Network18 and Apollo Hospitals Felicitate the Champions of Rural Healthcare with 'Healers of India' Awards". Country and Politics. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  45. ^ "Dr M.R.Rajagopal receives Navjeevan Inspiration of the Year award". Pallium India. 24 March 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  46. ^ "TNG Award". Asianet News TV. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  47. ^ "Dr MR Rajagopal wins TNG award". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  48. ^ India, Press Trust of (25 January 2017). "TNG award for palliative care physician Dr M R Rajagopal". Business Standard. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  49. ^ "Pallium India receives award for excellence and leadership in palliative care". ehospice. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
  50. ^ "People Doctors Awards Declared". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  51. ^ "Alison Des Forges Award". Human Rights Watch. 16 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  52. ^ "Dr Palpu Award". The Hindu. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  53. ^ "IASP's award for Excellence in Pain Research and Management". The Hindu. 20 September 2010. Archived from the original on 8 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  54. ^ "IASP award for Excellence in Pain Management and Research in Developing Countries". IASP. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  55. ^ "Marie Nyswander award". Reuters. Archived from the original on 8 June 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  56. ^ "Care and Share Humanitarian Award". Care and Share. Retrieved 20 June 2014.

External links[edit]