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  • Introduction
  • 1. Advance Care Planning
  • 2. Communicating Bad News
  • 3. Whole Patient Assessment
  • 4. Pain Management
  • 5. Assisted Suicide Debate
  • 6. Anxiety, Delirium
  • 7. Goals of Care
  • 8. Sudden Illness
  • 9. Medical Futility
  • 10. Common Symptoms
  • 11. Withholding Treatment
  • 12. Last Hours of Living
  • 13. Cultural Issues
  • 14. Religion, Spirituality
  • 15. Legal Issues
  • 16. Social and Psychological
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    Site Index
    Back to Module 13: Cultural Issues
    A Toolkit for Understanding Cultural Issues in Palliative Care

    What is a "Cultural Toolkit" and Why Do I Need It?

    What is a "Cultural Toolkit" and Why Do I Need It?

    • For the reasons outlined in the section Why We Avoid a Fact Sheet Approach, a fact sheet approach to issues of culture in palliative care may be a good general introduction but has limited useful in specific cases. Fact sheets are one item for your toolkit
    • Tools are meant to help you do your work. It is our belief that you need three basic kinds of tools:
      Tools for Anticipating Cultural Needs
      • A toolkit will help you analyze a situation and design an intervention; the first and most important tool is to anticipate cultural needs of your patients

      • There are several good general casebooks on delivering culturally sensitive health care, e.g.

        Gropper Rena C. Culture and the Clinical Encounter: An Intercultural Sensitivizer for the Health Professions. Yarmouth, ME: Intercultural Press, 1996

        Galanti, Geri-Ann. Caring for Patients from Different Cultures: Case Studies from American Hospitals (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1997
      Tools for Diagnosing and Mediating Cultural Misunderstandings
      • The second tool is to diagnose and mediate a cultural misunderstanding before it becomes a personal or personnel conflict
      • "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Anne Fadiman is an excellent read and shows how well-meaning health professions and conscientious families can completely miss each other in the fog of cultural misunderstanding to the detriment of all involved
      Tools for Identifying Cultural Resources in Your Community
      • The third tool is to identify cultural resources in your community
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