Netherlands: Muslims don't accept 'incurable' diagnosis
Research by Fuusje de Graaff of NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research) finds that in palliative care, the professional values of care-providers clashes with the culture values of Turkish and Moroccan patients.
De Graaff researched what shape the palliative care takes for patients of Turkish and Moroccan background. For Turks and Moroccans an illness is usually a matter for the whole family. They have no idea what to do with the diagnosis 'incurable'. They often don't tell the critically ill patient, hoping not to deprive him of a cure. They expect the doctors to do everything to try and cure the patient, even if he's incurably ill.
more Dutch health-care providers give priority to the quality of life. If the doctors say that the patient will die soon, the health-care providers assume alleviating pain and discomfort is more important than stretching out the patient's life. Turkish and Moroccan patients and family members don't accept that as much. They think the moment of death is in God's hands, and can't be decided by the doctors. Additionally they're afraid that pain-management makes them drowsy, and they want to be lucid when they appear before Allah.
De Graaff says that join decisions are the key to the best possible care. Doctors, nurses and care-givers should find a way to deal with the caregiver-patient-family relationship. Doctors and nurses who are more experienced seem to succeed better. De Graaff explains that they're more inclined to take the wishes of the patient's family into consideration. They explain how things are in the Netherlands and why it is so. And they ask patients what they want. It's very important to connect to the patient and the family.
Turkish and Moroccan families don't use home-care a lot. De Graaff says that starting home-care earlier, while also under the care of the family member, can spot problems faster, which can be reported to the family's doctor.