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Crossing OverNarratives of Palliative Care$
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David Barnard, Anna M. Towers, Patricia Boston, and Yanna Lambrinidou

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780195123432

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123432.001.0001

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Shamira Cook: “Who Am I?”

Shamira Cook: “Who Am I?”

Chapter:
(p.97) 6 Shamira Cook: “Who Am I?”
Source:
Crossing Over
Author(s):

David Barnard (Contributor Webpage)

Patricia Boston R.N.

Anna Towers

Yanna Lambrinidou

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195123432.003.0006

This chapter examines the case of Shamira Cook, a 34-year-old African American woman who was not only terminally ill with cancer but also a single parent with a history of heroin addiction. In a society in which hospice institutions were dominated by white members of the middle class, even in communities with an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse population, several African Americans mistrusted the hospice approach. Ms. Cook was among these people. Her social situation, attitudes toward her cancer, and life history posed a great challenge to her hospice team. Ms. Cook's insistent desire to fight her disease at all costs struck a discord with her hospice team and aggravated a long-standing disagreement with her daughter. However, despite the tension within her hospice team and her inevitable death, Ms. Cook felt she was on an urgent mission, which made it impossible for her to accept and give in to her cancer, despite its physical and mental toll.

Keywords:   African American, terminally ill, addiction, hospice, social situation, attitudes, hospice team

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