Queen Silvia speaks for the First Time about Brother’s Death
For the first time since her brother Jörg Sommerlath’s death in 2006, Queen Silvia has spoken about how palliative care assisted her brother in his final months. Jörg Sommerlath died of laryngeal cancer in early 2006, in the palliative care department of a German hospital, where the Queen spent those final months by his side.
In an exclusive interview with Svenska Dagbladet, the Queen tells how much of a difference palliative care made for her brother. “For him, it meant a lot to get the nursing care. It gave him the opportunity to alleviate the suffering,” she said.
Queen Silvia also told the journalist that she could see how people could take patients into account, and that palliative care allows them to manage their lives more than if they simply had standard care in their final days; and how the setting of palliative care offers more to the patient than believed. “I could see how we take into account the patient in a completely different way. In the usual care is more patient in the hands of staff…Everything should be made at specified times…It is not always as patient wishes,” Queen Silvia said, recalling her personal experience. She said that when her brother was in the hospital, the family could come and go as they wanted, which meant that they could help in the care of Jörg, and fulfill his final wishes.
Queen Silvia pledged her commitment to palliative care research, saying that in the future she would like to see every major hospital have a specific department for palliative care.
The interview comes just before Queen Silvia travelled to Austria yesterday to speak at the 11th Congress of the European Association for Palliative Care, which was also attended by the Austrian First Lady Margit Fischer and Austrian Health Minister Alois Stöger.
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