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Cultural Considerations in Palliative Care and Serious Illness 

Cultural Considerations in Palliative Care and Serious Illness
Chapter:
Cultural Considerations in Palliative Care and Serious Illness
Author(s):

Guadalupe R. Palos

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190201708.003.0019
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date: 09 December 2019

America is undergoing significant societal shifts that will have profound implications on palliative care for culturally diverse patients and families. These changes include the widespread aging of Americans and progressive increase in multicultural groups. All cultures form their own cultural roles, expectations, and views towards their social networks, support systems, and communities. These culturally-based systems help shape decisions about their healthcare and, more specifically, their palliative care experience. Furthermore, many ethnic and minority populations do not define palliative care in the same manner as “America’s mainstream.” In this chapter, the author addresses how cultural value systems of patients and their families can impact communication and decisions related to the access and delivery of palliative care.

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