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[Perspectives] Felicia Marie Knaul: advocate for better pain relief and palliative care

The time before her father died of stomach cancer in 1984 had a lasting impact on Felicia Knaul. “Each day brought new and ever-more challenging horrors—bone metastases popping up throughout his body…lungs filling with fluid and agonising, rattling breathing for which for several days I could do little other than keep his head elevated to stop him from drowning”, recalls Knaul, who was just 18 years old at the time. Eventually, he was given sufficient opioids to make him more comfortable. Since then, Knaul, a health economist, has devoted herself to tackling neglected aspects of health care and social justice worldwide.