Providing palliative care for Aboriginal patients

Aust Fam Physician. 2000 Nov;29(11):1035-8.


Background: Aboriginal people's need for palliative care services are not being adequately met.

Discussion: Mainstream services need to be provided in concert with Aboriginal service providers, including health care workers, interpreters, liaison workers and cultural brokers, and should be adapted to patient needs. Effective crosscultural palliative practice requires practitioners to examine their own beliefs and values and learn about the lives of their patients. Additionally, they need to recognise and defer to the cultural knowledge and personal authority of family members and relevant others within the Aboriginal community.

Objective: In accordance with contemporary palliative care principles of facilitating patient and family centred and culturally appropriate care, this article proposes ways in which health care services can be made more accessible and helpful to terminally ill Aboriginal people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Female
  • Health Services, Indigenous*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Terminally Ill