“We were not born to suffer": this is the name of the campaign launched today by Cittadinanzattiva, ten years after the law 38/2010 which regulates access to palliative care and pain therapy and which puts our country in a leading position for citizens' rights.
The campaign starts with a questionnaire addressed to citizens to investigate the actual knowledge of the contents of the law and an information leaflet, in digital format, with gives the main information on possibilities on the subject. It is in fact a highly innovative law, which for the first time guarantees access to palliative care and pain therapy by the patient in the context of essential levels of assistance, in order to ensure respect for dignity and autonomy of the human person, the need for health, equity in access to assistance, the quality of care and their appropriateness with regard to specific needs.
Ten years after the promulgation of the law many steps forward have been made, but still much needs to be done for its full implementation, in fact despite the regulatory framework defined by law 38/10 and the subsequent provisions in the State-Regions Conference, as well as some judgments of the Constitutional Court and the Court of Cassation, the full enforceability of the law is not yet ensured.
According to the recent report of the National Coordination of Associations of Chronic Patients of Cittadinanzattiva, patients report the underestimation of pain in 63.6% of cases, not only the physical one, but also the psychological one (59%). As well as the difficulty of accessing therapeutic cannabis (40.9%). There is a law, the n. 172 of 4 December 2017 which establishes that cannabis is reimbursed at the level of the NHS for some therapeutic indications, in the absence of regional resolutions, in different regions, which indicate the method of access (prescription mode, who prescribes it, etc.) of fact is not accessible in many realities of our territory.
Moreover, information on the right not to suffer unnecessarily is still lacking (40.9%) and access to therapies is rather complicated due to the cost of symptomatic drugs ( 40.9%), due to the poor connection between the attending physician and the palliative care specialist (40.9%) for the non-timeliness at the onset of pain (27.2%). Pain is not managed even during hospitalization in 18.1% of cases.
"We fought long to get this law," says Francesca Moccia, Cittadinanzattiva's deputy General Secretary, "after 10 years it is still necessary that you do not let your guard down, penalizing the quality of life of those who already have a pathology, making their condition heavier and unbearable, depriving the person of a perspective and a life plan. Even more so in an emergency context like this that we are experiencing. We will continue to monitor the situation to remove obstacles that prevent citizens from being able to enforce the rights recognized by this law.”
"We were not born to suffer" is made with the non-conditioning support of Pfizer Lilly.
25th May, 2020
(document translated by Giulia Decarolis, ACN staff)