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Death, Dying, and Social Differences$
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David Oliviere, Barbara Monroe, and Sheila Payne

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599295

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599295.001.0001

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Travellers’ and gypsies’ death and dying

Travellers’ and gypsies’ death and dying

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter 16 Travellers’ and gypsies’ death and dying
Source:
Death, Dying, and Social Differences
Author(s):

Regina McQuillan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599295.003.0049

This chapter discusses issues in the provision of palliative care to Travellers and Gypsies. Gypsies and Travellers form part of a world-wide group of people who have, or who have had, a nomadic way of life. These groups have experienced discrimination for centuries which can lead to distrust by these populations of the majority population. They have poorer health and shorter life expectancy than the majority population, are fearful of serious illness and death, and avoid discussing serious illness, especially cancer and dying. Reluctance to engage with hospice and palliative care, combined with the large crowds accompanying a patient and family during illness and bereavement, can mean that caring for Travellers and Gypsies can be challenging. Identifying key people in the family or support network, recognizing the need for clear explanations, and recognizing the differences between different families can all help health care staff and the Travellers and Gypsies cope.

Keywords:   palliative care, end of life care, hospice care, nomadic groups, Travellers, Gypsies

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