End of Life, EOLPodcast

Ep. 215 Death’s Big Tent: Making Room for Every Point of View

Learn how culture affects the way people view, talk about, and plan for death and dying. 


As we work to promote death awareness and death positivity in society it is important to remember cultural differences that may influence how others view the end of life. We need to have room in our approach for diverse belief systems and traditions in order to best meet the needs of all members of the communities we serve. 

Listen here.


This episode includes:

  • The difference between individualistic and collectivistic perspectives on life
  • Cultural reasons why discussing illness and death is frowned upon
  • Different styles of end-of-life decision-making
  • Reasons why minority groups have low rates of completion of advance directives
    • Distrust of healthcare system
    • Past or current healthcare disparities
    • Cultural perspectives on death and suffering (e.g. aggressive treatment equates with love)
    • Spiritual perspectives (e.g. only God determines the end of life)
    • Family dynamics
  • Culturally sensitive approach
    • Be open-minded
    • Be aware of potential cultural/religious/societal differences
    • Consider alternative discussions with family members rather than patient
    • Ask what a “good end of life” looks like to them
    • Ask what hope means to them
  • Sources of hope

Links mentioned in this episode:

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