The late Chairman Chien-teh Lin had always been known for his sincerity and hospitality; he was also a man who praised the good, pitied the incompetent, and recognized the talented. People liked to have him around, no matter whether friends, colleagues, or subordinates. Not surprisingly, when the late Chairman Lin took over the Hospice Foundation of Taiwan, the talented and capable joined his call to work for the hospice and palliative care development in Taiwan and the 2015 Asia Pacific Hospice Conference (“APHC”).
With the efforts made, the board of committee united with one heart to pull all the possible strings to pool the resources, and invited the related universities, hospitals and NGOs to spread the news and support, so as to ensure a splendid 2015 APHC in Taipei.
As all eyes were on the 2015 APHC, Chairman Lin was diagnosed with malignant tumor. During his treatment period, the board members always paid him a visit right after the APHC preparatory meetings. He always shook his hands with everyone humbly and never forgot to mention APHC was the top priority on his list. He also reminded us that he would make a good fight and get back to his post to lead everyone at APHC. Unfortunately after eight months of treatment, he passed away prior to APHC. All we could do was to transform our grief into strength, and to fulfill his last wish and promise. May God help us.
Live Up to Expectations
After the passing of Chairman Lin, I was elected as the new Chairman of Hospice Foundation of Taiwan. With a heavy heart, I endeavor myself for this task before me. Founded since 1990, the Hospice Foundation of Taiwan has been advocating the development of palliative care legislation, life education, and palliative professional training courses. It has also been promoting palliative care to the public and assisting many Taiwanese hospitals to set up palliative care beds. We are also raising the recognition of palliative and hospice care, and ensuring that the patient’s autonomy is still respected until the last phase of life. I am so pleased that the Hospice Foundation of Taiwan has been seen as the cradle of Taiwan’s palliative care movement.
A Compulsory Course to Life Philosophy
Palliative and hospice care development has been a silent social revolution as it protects the medical autonomy at the last phase of life and also makes us reflect upon the value of life. With more than 20 years of efforts, we have gone from initial advanced cancer care to non-cancer terminally ill diseases; from setting up palliative care beds to providing palliative care to shared care and community care; and from relieving pain to ceasing futile medical care, DNR (Do Not Resuscitate), withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and ACP (Advance Care Planning).
Besides paying my respect to the achievements done by predecessors, I would also like to go further from here with your support. After much thought, below are five guidelines that will be my main direction to continue promoting and developing palliative and hospice care:
- Develop palliative care in the intensive care unit and promote palliative care concept in national ICUs;
- Promote and implement palliative care in areas of Taiwan with scarce resources;
- Promote the life education and palliative care concept, and also carry out the promotion and service with various age groups;
- Expand service centers with Hospice Foundation of Taiwan’s information;
- Enhance the cooperation among Hospice Foundation of Taiwan with Taiwan Academy of Hospice Palliative Medicine and Taiwan Hospice Organization, not only with knowledge but also with methods. This final goal is to enable Taiwan to be the palliative pioneer in the international society.
Your honest comments and continuous support to Hospice Foundation of Taiwan is much appreciated. We hope to contribute much more to the development of Taiwan’s palliative care.
Chairman Yuh-cheng Yang