Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS)

I serve as the  Executive Director of Organisation for the Prevention of Intense Suffering (OPIS), a Swiss-based think-and-do tank I founded in June 2016. We focus on preventing the intense suffering of all sentient beings and promoting this objective as our overriding global priority. We are a small team of people deeply dedicated to this mission. OPIS conducts research, develops advocacy tools, facilitates the exchange of information and carries out campaigns. OPIS identifies with the effective altruism movement and the importance of quantifying and optimising impact, while also exploring new approaches to value-spreading and raising awareness.

One of our main areas of activity has been promoting access to effective pain relief, and in particular, access to morphine for the millions of patients suffering from terminal cancer and other causes of severe pain in lower-income countries. We held an expert panel event at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on access to morphine as a human right, and in December 2019 we co-organised and successfully crowdfunded a national conference in the West African country of Burkina Faso, with the participation of the Minister of Health, to promote palliative care and access to morphine in the country. We are now also focusing on cluster headaches, often described as the worst pain known to medicine. We produced a policy paper and animated video, advocating for legal access to psilocybin and related substances that have dramatic benefits for many patients.

Our larger ambition is to design and promote new blueprints for ethical decision-making at all levels of governance, ensuring that the basic needs of all are met, and that no sentient beings are allowed to suffer intensely when it can be prevented.

With Burkina Faso's Minister of Health, Léonie Claudine Lougue/Sorgho