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Original scientific paper

End-of Life Issues in the Community: Linking Professional Training and Public Education

Ana Štambuk ; Studijski centar socijalnog rada, Pravni fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu
Joanne E. Coury ; Department of Political Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo

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page 245-257

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In our paper, we link the private realm of awareness of one's own mortality, dying and death and the public sphere of competent and compassionate end-of-life care that helps individuals manage the process of letting go of life. Hospice and palliative care (HPC) programs have evolved through this linkage. HPC has taken an active role in shaping communal and personal values about death and dying. Using a cognitive praxis framework, we show that these values are shaped in the public arena through the “actual things and events” produced by HPC teams working with patients, family, and social networks. We expand on the idea of experiential learning through social interaction to include not just professionals, patients and families but also the community at large. Who better to secure the wider community recognition of special care needs of terminally ill and dying persons and support needs of the circle of family and friends than the hospice team? Some dedicated practitioners have a wealth of practical knowledge and applied research and they share this readily. But, to translate this wisdom into advocacy grounded in sustained public education, providers of professional education need to initiate changes in undergraduate, graduate and continuing education to include not only treatment competencies and teamwork principles but also community-building skills.


cognitive praxis; social interaction; death and dying; end-of-life issues; community education; health professions; hospice training; hospice team; interdisciplinary curricula; social networks

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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