National hospice association celebrates 20th anniversary
The Taiwan Hospice Organization celebrated its 20th anniversary Saturday in Taipei, as Taiwan has seen improvements in promoting the concept of palliative care.
In an event to celebrate the organization's 20-year anniversary, Chen Rong-chi, a former vice president of National Taiwan University Hospital who is known as the "godfather of Taiwan's palliative care" — received a special contribution award.
In a society where talk of death is usually taboo, the Taiwan Hospice Organization was established in 1995 to promote palliative care, life support withdrawal and do- not- resuscitate orders.
Thanks to the efforts of a group of medical professionals, scholars and volunteers, the or- ganization has been striving to ensure that terminally ill patients can get the best care, as well as helping them face death with dignity.
The talk of death has become more prevalent in recent years, with tallies showing that around 300,000 people have registered their willingness to receive hospice palliative care on National Health Insurance, according to Chiu Shih-che, chairman of the Taiwan Hospice Organization.
Meanwhile, Chiu Shu- t i , director- general of the Health Promotion Administration, said in a country where cancer has dominated the leading cause of death for the past three decades, 50 percent of terminally ill cancer patients had received palliative care services as of 2012, skyrocketing from just 7 percent in 2000.