Re: #BlackLivesMatter, #IndigenousLivesMatter in Hospice and Palliative Care
Vancouver – Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 1:30 PM
Letter to our Members, Hospice Providers and Palliative Care Community:
We in hospice and palliative care are colleagues with shared values about the worth and dignity of each human life. We aim to understand the unique hopes and fears of each person in front of us, to truly be present, provide support, and relieve suffering for them, no matter their race, beliefs or gender identity.
We apply this person-centred approach to our care for people nearing end of life or living with serious illnesses because we truly believe that their lives matter, and caring for those in the most vulnerable state in their journey of life, is what we do best.
Dismantling racism and the effects of racism require all of us to act. In hospice and palliative care, this could mean getting ourselves, colleagues and volunteers trained on the realities of implicit bias, enforcing hiring practices that reflect the racial and ethnic makeup of our community populations, or researching effective methods to bridge racial disparities in access to palliative care services.
We write this letter in response to #blacklivesmatter to ensure we are pausing, reflecting and taking in what is happening to our marginalized populations in our communities. The question is, what are we doing in response to change? Are we doing enough? If not, what else can we be doing to ensure that #blacklivesmatter #indigenouslivesmatter #ethnicdiversitymatters in hospice and palliative care?
We look to our health care providers, governments, and community leaders to ensure action plans are considered and rolled out to reflect this need for change and unity.
As health care providers, we are at the frontline caring for those who need it most, no matter who they are, ensuring that they know and feel, that indeed, they do matter.