Common or multiple futures for end of life care around the world? Ideas from the ‘waiting room of history’

Zaman, S., Inbadas, H. , Whitelaw, A. and Clark, D. (2017) Common or multiple futures for end of life care around the world? Ideas from the ‘waiting room of history’. Social Science and Medicine, 172, pp. 72-79. (doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.11.012) (PMID:27894008) (PMCID:PMC5224187)

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Around the world there is growing interest in the manner in which care is delivered to people at the end of life. However, there is little unanimity on what constitutes a ‘good death’ and the appropriate societal responses to the issue of delivering culturally relevant and sustainable forms of end of life care in different settings are not subjects of broad agreement. In this critical conceptual paper we focus on the emerging narratives of global palliative care and offer an assessment of their implications. We relate this to calls to improve end of life care across jurisdictions and settings, attempts to map and grade the development of palliative care provision, and to the emergence of a widely recognised global ‘quality of death index’. We consider an alternative approach to framing this debate, drawn from a subaltern and post-colonial studies perspective and suggest that adopting a truly global perspective will require acceptance of the plurality of past and present local problems and issues relating to end of life care, as well as the plural possibilities of how they might be overcome. In that context, we would not aim to universalise or privilege one particular global future for end of life care. Instead of homogenising end of life interventions, we seek to be open to multiple futures for the care of the dying.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clark, Professor David and Whitelaw, Dr Alexander and Inbadas, Reverend D Hamilton and Zaman, Dr Shahaduz
Authors: Zaman, S., Inbadas, H., Whitelaw, A., and Clark, D.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Journal Name:Social Science and Medicine
ISSN (Online):0277-9536
Published Online:09 November 2016

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
645151Interventions at the end of life: social, historical and comparative analysis to promote global improvement.David ClarkWellcome Trust (WELLCOME)103319/Z/13/ZIS - INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES