Chapter Six: End-of-Life Communication in Cross-Cultural Patient Care
End-OF-Life Communication IN Cross-Cultural Patient Care
MARCIA K. CARTERET
While the end-of-life experience is universal, the way human beings negotiate meaning about the experience of dying is not. The thoughts, emotions, and interpersonal interactions at the end of life are very much influenced by culture. In any given set of circumstances in which people come from different cultural backgrounds, false assumptions based on one set of values will quickly lead to failed communication. This is especially true of communication at the end of life because we cannot assume shared meaning about anything as uncertain as the experience of death. When crossing cultural boundaries especially, communication is only effective when it is highly intentional (Bennett, 2013). With close attention and earnest intention, communication becomes the very thing that can bring people through a time of great uncertainty.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, PATIENTS, AND FAMILIES
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