By Diane Weidner

Compassion. Care. Altruism.  These are the three core values essential to palliative care that were explored at the 22nd International Congress on Palliative Care held in Montreal in early October.  For more than 40 years, Palliative Care McGill has hosted this biennial congress that brings together health care practitioners, scientists and researchers, spiritual care workers, volunteers and caregivers.

Founded in 1976 by Dr. Balfour Mont and his colleagues, the congress has grown in scope and strength, serving as an inspiration for all who work in the field of palliative care, no matter what their role, discipline or country.  This year, close to 1800 participants from more than 60 countries attended the congress to explore new approaches, learn together and inspire one another.  Full-day seminars, workshops, proffered papers and posters offered multiple, diverse learning opportunities designed to develop specific skills and encourage in-depth exchange for all those involved in palliative care.

Rich of its long tradition of blending the sciences, the arts and the humanities, this year’s congress offered an innovative approach to gastronomy for persons at the end of their lives.

“As we all know, eating is synonymous with pleasure, with sharing, with life,” explains Congress Chair and Director of Palliative Care at McGill, Dr. Bernard J. Lapointe. “Yet the issue of nutrition at the end of life is riddled with tensions between the persons concerned, family members and caregivers.  This is why we collaborated with students and their teachers from the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec as well as with colleagues from La Maison de Gardanne in France to develop recipes that have been adapted to allow full enjoyment of food, even when swallowing might present a challenge.  Quality of life is central to palliative care, and we are particularly pleased to celebrate and share the pleasure of eating with family and friends.”

We invite you to download the recipe booklet, EATING WELL. ALWAYS. Bon appétit!




November 5, 2018