Integrating Religious and Cultural Supports into Quality Care in the Last Stages of Life in Ontario
Improving the Last Stages of Life, Law Commission of Ontario, 2017
103 Pages Posted: 3 May 2017 Last revised: 8 May 2017
Date Written: April 2017
The last stages of life – and particularly end-of-life care, palliative care, and medical assistance in dying – have emerged as key health care issues of importance to a broad and growing diversity of multicultural Canadians. This paper presents a snapshot of how faith and cultural supports are an essential aspect of quality care in the last stages of life in Ontario. The paper begins by defining key terms and distinctions in the “last stages of life” and as between various beliefs and practices. The paper then overviews key legislative and professional regulatory frameworks, as well as various best practice models and existing community-based programs. The authors then present qualitative findings based on interviews with 17 faith leaders and health practitioners from the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario. This is additionally supplemented by research conducted into the palliative and pastoral services available to patients at 19 of the busiest hospitals in Ontario (as identified by data obtained from Canadian Institute for Health Information). The paper concludes with recommendations to enhance the quality of care for a diverse, multicultural population contending with the last stages of life.
Keywords: multiculturalism, end of life, palliative care, medical assistance in dying, faith, culture, diversity, culturally sensitive care
JEL Classification: J14, J18, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation