The woman helping Mongolians die with dignity

Source: BBC News

  • Davaasuren with Renchin, a patient at Mongolia's National Cancer Hospital

Fifteen years ago there was no such thing as palliative care – care for the dying – in Mongolia. Now there is, thanks to the efforts of one woman, who persuaded the country’s medical establishment that it was possible and worthwhile to prevent people dying in agony.

Odontuya Davaasuren was 17 years old, studying paediatrics far from home in Leningrad, Russia when her father died of lung cancer in Mongolia.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to care for my father or say goodbye,” she recalls. “When I returned to Mongolia, my sister told me that our father had been in constant pain.”

Several years later, as a practising doctor, she shared her apartment with her mother-in-law, who was dying of liver cancer, and she saw first-hand how pain could deprive people of peace at the end their life.

“I cared for her. I fed, washed and changed her, but I could not relieve her pain because I didn’t know how,” she says.

Read more

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s