Bono, Sir Elton John and Archbishop Desmond Tutu support World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

Events planned in at least 70 countries around the world – Thousands of people around the world will be staging concerts and other events to raise awareness and fundraise for hospice and palliative care services locally, nationally and internationally to mark this annual global event.

Hospice and palliative care improves the quality of life of patients affected by life-threatening illness such as cancer and AIDS and their families, by preventing and relieving suffering through pain and symptom relief, emotional, practical and spiritual support.

The theme for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day this year is Hospice and Palliative Care: a Human Right, highlighting that without access to the care they need, people suffer horrific and unacceptable levels of distress that amount to a violation of their human rights.

Many different international, national and local fundraising and awareness-raising events are planned, including the publication of a book about palliative care as a human right, sponsored walks, exhibitions, celebrations, rallies and professional conferences.

The first ever World Hospice and Palliative Care Day took place in October 2005 with more than 1,100 events taking place in 74 countries. It was launched by HRH Princess Anne in London, and supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu who described it as “an important global event”. In 2006, Bono and Sir Elton John marked the event by expressing their support for hospice care, and in 2007 Dame Judi Dench added her voice to the campaign.

To find out more and get involved in World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2008, visit