Palliative care today represents a standard of care for patients with advanced chronic diseases and for their families. This area of knowledge stems from the growing ageing of the population and the corresponding change in patterns of mortality and morbidity. It is also the result of a societal context of increasing individualization of family ties, and also a reaction to an increase in the suffering of vulnerable populations due to abandonment or therapy obstinacy in an increasingly technological society. Palliative care has been progressively implemented, in the last decade, in the clinical area, research, teaching and in society.
The Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, following the organization of the first postgraduate courses (2000 and 2001), pioneered, in the country, the master degree in palliative care (2002-2003) and has thus contributed to professional postgraduate education (more than 380 health professionals) and to the conduction of scientific research in this area.
We have seen with satisfaction many of our master graduates and students in palliative care taking on the creation and development of palliative care teams/units across the country, as well as implementing dissemination actions in this area of knowledge.
The publication of the Palliative Care Manual (with a revised and greatly increased 3rd edition in 2016) is already a particularly well accepted reference in the professional, scientific and civic world.
The master degree has had the collaboration, from the beginning, of internationally prestigious universities: University of Sheffield, University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Medical College of Wisconsin Palliative Care Center, University of California, University of Barcelona, University Hospital La Paz- Madrid, University of Vic-Catalonia, Faculty of Medicine-Pamplona, and Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa.