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Free Content Philosophical dialogue in palliative care and hospice work

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Dealing with existential questions is a constitutive part of palliative care. Interestingly, if we admit that border situations at the end of life give rise to clearly ‘philosophical’ questions, in the contexts of practice, these questions are perceived (nearly) without any reference to explicit philosophical traditions or to ‘philosophical practice’. Existential questions in palliative care are usually approached from other perspectives and within other organisational forms of reflection and dialogue (psychotherapy, supervision, spiritual care, moral case deliberation). This piece considers how philosophical dialogue and reflection could contribute to palliative care and hospice work.

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Keywords: care ethics; death literacy; hospice; palliative care; philosophical practice

Document Type: Discussion

Affiliations: Karl-Franzens-Universit├Ąt Graz, Austria

Publication date: February 2020

This article was made available online on November 5, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Philosophical dialogue in palliative care and hospice work".

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  • The International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC) is a new multidisciplinary journal designed to advance scholarship and debate in the important and expanding field of care and caring. Multidisciplinary and international in scope, it publishes high quality contributions on care, caring and carers from all regions of the world. IJCC has a broad focus, covering care and caring for people of any age who have long-term conditions, disabilities or frailties, or who are seriously ill or near the end of life. It explores the economic, organisational, political, social, legal, familial, transnational and ethical settings in which this care occurs.

    IJCC is concerned with care provided as paid work and as support for family members, friends or neighbours; with care in home, community and residential settings; and with formal and informal care relations, organisation, systems and markets. It focuses on 'receiving' and 'giving' care and on the gendered nature and social, political, legal and economic status and circumstances of care and caring. It debates the support needed in localities, workplaces and health systems to make care and caring feasible and rewarding for carers and dignified and supportive of independence for care recipients. IJCC welcomes contributions on caring relationships, the ethics and political economy of care, care as a focus of moral philosophy and feminist analysis and care and caring as sources of claims-making and challenge and as the spur for national and global social movements.

    The journal encourages critical engagement with policy and practice developments and aims to include contributions from different areas of the world in each edition. Its regular Debates and Issues section features dialogue with carers’ organisations, policymakers, trade unions, employers and academics, to encourage global dialogue and international sharing of ideas, expertise and experience.

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