DIVA Magazine

Book review:
LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice and Palliative Care, by Kimberly Acquaviva

National Hospice and Palliative Care Month takes place throughout November in the United States. Those behind National Hospice Month, along with LGBTQ scholarly publisher Harrington Park Press, have just released groundbreaking new book LGBTQ-Inclusive Hospice And Palliative Care: A Practical Guide To Transforming Professional Practice.

Written by Kimberly D. Acquaviva, the book is the first of its kind for the US. Beyond sensitivity training to LGBTQ patients, it reiterates the broader tenet of never assuming anything about patients, family members or employees: never assume gender or how a person wishes to be addressed, never assume that their family either rejects or embraces them because of how they identify or live and never assume anything with regards to a person’s spirituality.

The guide book offers guidance on topics that may not be as obvious, but are equally critical, such as whether or not an LGBTQ caregiver should disclose his or her sexuality in an effort to bond with the patient, being mindful to not inadvertently “out” patients whose sex anatomy and gender identity do not match by using their preferred gender pronouns, and making sure patients’ wishes are legally protected.

A spokesperson for Hospice UK said:

“The launch of this new guide in the US is really important. Similar guidance aimed at ensuring high quality end of life care for LGBT people was published in the UK several years ago.

“Treating people as individuals and providing person-centred care are integral to the compassionate ethos of hospices. Part of this includes not making assumptions about people’s wishes and ensuring good communication that is open and responsive to people’s different individual needs.

“Many hospices in the UK are taking action to make their services more inclusive to LGBT people. This includes excellent initiatives such as the London Hospice LGBT Network which promotes equality, diversity and inclusion and provides leadership, support and education for staff and volunteers.”

In the UK Hospice Care Week runs from 9-15 October. For more visit hospiceuk.org

Reviewed by DIVA Staff