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What is othering?. 2020. (accessed 5 July 2021)

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Nyatanga B. Why is it so difficult to die?.London: Quay Books; 2008

Improving palliative care access

02 August 2021
Volume 26 · Issue 8

The philosophy that drives the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care is based on the need to maximise quality of life for those facing life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer. Interventions focusing on pain and symptom management form the main pillars of palliative care delivery. It is important to stress that the context of pain here is not only limited to physical pain, but covers total pain, including psychological, spiritual, social and emotional distress (Nyatanga, 2008; Department of Health and Social Care, 2008), and it should be afforded to every person with a need.

A number of studies have been published through the Cecily Saunders Institute, King's College London (Calanzani et al, 2013), reporting on the inadequacy of palliative and end-of-life care services reaching people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. Use of the term ‘BAME’ is unfortunate, and has been for a while, as it sadly perpetuates post-colonial semantic trappings, which promote the ‘othering concept’ (Cherry, 2020), which, ultimately, deprives this group of its true individual identities. However, the label ‘BAME’ provides, for now, a common point of reference for this group of people, until a more appropriate term, which is being discussed and debated, is agreed.

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