Globalizing Palliative Care

End-of-Life Care in Brazil


This research uses an ethnographic approach to address the need for a more nuanced understanding of cultural values in, and the temporal configurations of, end-of-life care in Brazil. It offers a medical anthropological study of the globalization and cultural mediation of palliative care practices, policies, and discourses.

As Brazil anticipates rapid social ageing, its palliative care practices are expected to undergo radical transformation. Although most models of palliative care have their roots in the Global North (and the UK in particular), cultural values around end of life, (including cultural modes of anticipation and temporality) will naturally influence the conceptualization and delivery of palliative care in different contexts. Consequently, directly transplanting these models into the Global South is unlikely to be effective.

Therefore, this research examines how local end-of-life care practices impact palliative care and how globally circulating discourses of palliative care are transforming local notions of death and dying; How palliative care practices, policies and discourses are translated, adapted and reconstituted in diverse socio-cultural settings.

This postdoctoral research is part of the ERC project Globalizing Palliative Care? A Multi-Sited Ethnographic Study of Practices, Policies and Discourses of Care at the End of Life at Leiden University.

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