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End of Life Clinical Topics

Cultural Relevance in End of Life Care

This resource, authored by a community health and hospice clinician who has over 30 years’ experience with hospice care, addresses three major areas of cultural relevance in end-of-life care: cultural competency in clinical practice; advance directives; and pain management. The article presents several models for cultural assessment including questions and sample scripts for the health care provider to consider for discussions with patients.  Read article...

Medical Examiner and Issues of Culture

The King County Medical Examiner's Office at Harborview Medical Center (HMC) in Seattle, WA hosted a series of meetings to improve cross-cultural communication and competency in their work with members of local refugee and immigrant communities. The following information comes from those conversations.

Issues of Culture and the Role of Medical Examiner

Medical Examiner Dialogue - Ethiopian Orthodox Christian

Medical Examiner Dialogue - Somali

Medical Examiner Dialogue - Vietnamese Buddhist

End-of-Life Educational Curriculum

Other websites and programs providing educational information around end-of-life issues.

Interpreting in Palliative Care
As the use of palliative care grows, so does the diversity of patients who opt for it. California Health Care Foundation has supported the following curriculum development.

Interpreting in Palliative Care, available on the California Health Care Foundation website, is a curriculum geared for trainers and includes lession plans, training materials, everything a trainer needs to teach a 7-hr workshop in a classroom.  
Interpreting in Palliative Care, available on the Health Care Interpreter Network website, has launched an interpreter training site with an online course.  This is a self-paced course for professional interpreters to take on their own.  There is a small fee for the course ($35.00), but it has been approved for Continuing Education credits with some organizations.  The American Translators Association (ATA) has approved 7 CE Points for this on-line class.
Culturally Competent End-of-Life Care course
Talaria Inc provides some on-line training and educational tools.  The 1st edition of "Culture and End of Life" is free for a single user.  Other training and CME available for cost on this topic and others.

Clinical Pearls

Clinical Pearl

End of Life Care

Literature Review

Cultural Implications of Brain Death - A Literature Review

During complicated end-of–life conversations, it is important for providers to understand how to best relate to their patients. With the technological advancements of life sustaining systems, brain death has been defined as a newer indicator of death. But brain death is often misunderstood and can be a particularly difficult topic to broach with refugee and immigrant communities. As the concept of brain death becomes enshrined in Western clinical practice, there is a need for providers to understand the perceptions and knowledge around the definition of death and brain death for people of different cultures and religious backgrounds.  See literature review