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ICFRC: Palliative Care is Everyone's Business: Community Participation in Health Care

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Dr. M.R. Rajagopal, a native of India, is both a palliative care physician and an anesthesiologist. He studied palliative care at Trivandrum Medical College and anesthesiology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. Dr. Rajagopal held the position as Professor and Head of Anesthesiology at Calicut Medical College.

Following his time there he served as a professor and Head of Pain and Palliative Medicine at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. While holding this position, Rajagopal kickstarted the first university approved graduate program in India in Pain and Palliative Medicine.

Dr. Rajagopal was also key in the formation of the Pain and Palliative Care Society in 1993. A decade later he created "Pallium India", a charitable trust that created two Palliative care centers, and established palliative care services around the country of India. A 2018 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, he has been referred to as the 'father of palliative care in India' (first by the New York Times) in honor of his significant contribution to the Indian palliative care scene. Dr. Rajagopal was awarded the 'Padma Shri,' one of the highest civilian honors, by the government of India in 2018 and 'Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism' by Human Rights Watch in 2014.

Dr. Rajagopal was also named one of the "30 Most Influential Leaders in Hospice and Palliative Care" by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Rajagopal even has a feature length film that focuses on his life. The film Hippocratic follows the life of Dr. Rajagopal and his dream of creating a "pain free India."

For more information on the Foreign Relations Council visit their website at www.icfrc.org.

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