The Premiere of Hippocratic was held at the Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan in Bangalore on the 20th of January 2018. The event was hosted by CanKids…KidsCan and Australasian Palliative Link International (APLI).
Hippocratic is a feature-length film exploring the life story of Pallium India’s Chairman – Dr M. R. Rajagopal, or Dr. Raj as he is affectionately known. The story uses Dr. Raj’s narrative to encourage the audience to rediscover the first principals of medicine.
This exquisite first-person account, narrated by David Suchet CBE, takes us through the extraordinary journey of a global health leader, described by the New York Times as ‘the father of palliative care in India’. Dr. Raj’s mission is to bring ethical practice to modern medicine through whole person care and universal access to essential, and heavily restricted, pain medicines. The narrative reflects on effecting change and relieving unnecessary human suffering in a country of 1.25 billion people, almost one sixth of the world’s population, bringing to light the realities of providing health care in its true sense to the world’s most populous democratic society.
The event was attended by members of the medical and palliative care fraternity as well as lay people from different areas of industry, commerce, journalism, entrepreneurial and social initiatives. One of the aims of the event was to engage the urban population, which still largely remains unaware of palliative care services in the country, or if they are aware, usually misunderstand what this field represents. It hoped to bridge some of the gaps in this awareness, bust myths around palliative care and also to create avenues whereby people know how they can access services in their own cities. Urban engagement is also vital in terms of creating more conversations around access to and availability of pain relief and the alleviation of overall illness-related suffering.
Around 250 people attended the premiere as well as the follow up event at the Bangalore International Centre later that evening.
The calls to action of the event included donating to palliative care services across cities; volunteer time or expertise, refer people to these services and join the conversations that would aid in advocacy to make palliative care more visible in terms of policy implementation, education and service accessibility.
In many ways, the events did achieve a large part of what they intended to.
In the aftermath, Pallium India received many messages and emails expressing what attendees felt.
Some of the messages are given below:
“Thank you so much for calling me. I was actually a lot more emotional than I expected. It brought back so many memories of the past year and it’s exactly one year ago that dad was diagnosed. But a big part of emotion was the gratitude… Seeing that movie made me all the more aware of how lucky dad was and how lucky we were… That we didn’t have to see him go through that pain. And gratitude for the fact that there are so many amazing people like Dr Raj and your team, who are out there fighting for the rest of us. It always so inspiring and very touching to hear about people who put so much of their heart into helping others… Without being too flippant, all I can say is… May your tribe increase.”
“It was eye opening and disturbing too. I am yet to process it. The scale of things is unbelievable. I will do my bit and will be a lot more receptive from now on.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how much I related to today’s movie and the work you guys do. How I wish I knew better with my dad and made the last few days pain free for him! But Like someone once said – out of great tragedy comes the strength to do something meaningful and I think that’s what Pallium is. Thank you all for doing what you do. I wasn’t able to even talk to you properly after because I was so choked up. My dad is my everything and this in a way was cathartic to me. I look forward to contributing to palliative care in some capacity.”
“It has taken me a few days to say this to you. After I left the event, I felt like a weight had lifted off my shoulders. I have gone through treatment for bipolar disorder, clinical depression and cancer. I have prepare the body of my mother at her funeral. That didn’t scare me. For 10 years, between the ages of 40 and 50, I was numb. Numb with medication. When I finally came out of the haze, I only felt fear. Fear of my own death. I have carried that fear with me so long. But today, the fear is gone. I thought it was the immediate aftermath of watching Hippocratic and experiencing Dr. Raj. But it has been days, and that feeling remains. For the first time in my life, I feel free. I am going to tell everyone to watch this film. And I want to help in any way I can.”
Thank you, Mike and Sue of Moonshine Agency, for making this film.
For more details on the film and to host a screening, please visit: http://hippocraticfilm.com/
Source: Pallium Kulasekharam