Perspectief 2020-48

2020-48 43 Assistance provision to relatives of an incurable patient in the context of palliative care in the Unites Kingdom, the Netherlands and Ukraine Kateryna Biletska MA 1. Introduction Death is the only inevitable event in life. No matter how long a human being lives in this world, whatever the quality of his or her life, there comes a moment when a person dies. Up until recently, modern society preferred to talk more about success, victories, satisfaction rather than suffering and end of life. Today, the world community's attention, particularly due to the COVID- 19 pandemic, is mostly focused on the hundreds of thousands of deaths that were caused by this new virus disease 1 . However, population mortality is not limited to those caused by the spread of coronavirus. Only in Europe, about 1600,000 people die of cancer per year, and another 5700,000 from chronic non-oncological diseases 2 . Since a man is a social being, any significant change in his or her personal life affects surrounding people to a certain extent. In this context, we can recall one of the Evangelical events - the death of Lazarus. Jesus Christ came to Judaea shortly after the funeral of his friend and cried. Why did the Lord weep if He knew that He could raise Lazarus? One of the possible answers to this question is that Jesus understood the pain in the hearts of Martha and Mary, who mourned the death of their brother 3 . Modern scientists say that the relatives of the deceased person, or someone who is ‘on the verge of deat h’ may be facing psycho-emotional risks such as exhaustion and burnout, depression, grief, sense of helplessness, fear, or guilt, etc. 4 Being aware of the complexity of challenges that family caregivers may face, Pope Francis encourages to support not only the terminally ill but also all those who concern for their well-being (relatives and doctors) 5 . Considering the urging of the Roman Pontiff as well as the large number of relatives involved in caring for the incurable ill persons (only in the European Union they number