Cultural and Ethical Challenges in Providing Palliative Care for Cancer Patients at the End-of-Life
Cultures vary across countries in terms of economic status, education and resources, as well
as by traditional and family values, and religious or spiritual aspects pertaining to illness and health.
Cultural beliefs and values shape our approach to death and dying, and need to be
acknowledged and included in the delivery of palliative care services, it also provides us with
a framework for understanding death, and give meaning to our experiences of suffering and loss.
Cultural background has a significant role in coping with the difficult situations at the end of-life, where health professionals, specially nursing staff and social workers, may be very helpful.
Cultural beliefs impact on many aspects of EOL care, including the disclosure of
information, decision-making, the use of life-prolonging treatments,
and the experience of grief and bereavement.
Our traditional practices around death are often linked to our beliefs about the
meaning of death and what lies beyond, and have both emotional and spiritual significance.
Furthermore, some cultural aspects of death and terminal patients’ care should be considered
while providing palliative care for those patients in our country.
We should pay attention and focus on cultural and social aspects because
the whole family is usually involved in a patient’s
problems as family ties are very strong among people.
Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2017; SE(1): S75-S84. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-SE-1-116