Ethics and advance care planning in a culturally diverse society

J Transcult Nurs. 2009 Oct;20(4):405-16. doi: 10.1177/1043659609340803.


Emerging international research suggests that in multicultural countries, such as Australia and the United States, there are significant disparities in end-of-life care planning and decision making by people of minority ethnic backgrounds compared with members of mainstream English-speaking background populations. Despite a growing interest in the profound influence of culture and ethnicity on patient choices in end-of-life care, and the limited uptake of advance care plans and advance directives by ethnic minority groups in mainstream health care contexts, there has been curiously little attention given to cross-cultural considerations in advance care planning and end-of-life care. Also overlooked are the possible implications of cross-cultural considerations for nurses, policy makers, and others at the forefront of planning and providing end-of-life care to people of diverse cultural and language backgrounds. An important aim of this article is to redress this oversight.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Advance Care Planning / ethics*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Decision Making / ethics
  • Humans
  • Minority Groups*
  • Patient Rights*
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Truth Disclosure / ethics