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Dying with Dignity: Starting the Conversation to Close the Healthcare Gap

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Texas Conflict Coach

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What constitutes a ‘good death’? How and where are people dying? Are the needs of the dying being met? How can we advocate for a “good death”? Considering we are all going to die and lose loved ones at some point in time in our journey through life, these are all important questions to explore. Recently there has been an increased emphasis on the importance of addressing healthcare disparities in end of life care. This increased emphasis is mostly as a result of a bountiful of research on how dying patients are invisible in many acute healthcare settings in the United States and are victims of healthcare disparities. That is, certain groups receive lower quality of care than others. Worse than being a dying patient, is being a dying patient who is perceived by medical personnel as belonging to a different race, culture or ethnicity. These biases that lead to disparate treatment are often present at a subconscious level.

Dr. Jacqueline N. Font-Guzmán is associate professor at the Werner Institute at Creighton University. She is a certified mediator and arbitrator by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court.  She is a Fulbright Scholar who has actively participated in the field of conflict studies through national and international conferences and workshops, and has conducted a wide variety of trainings and seminars in the field. 

Dr. Font-Guzmán conducts qualitative research with a focus on the fields of healthcare disparities, law, and conflict engagement. Specifically, how people construct meaning at critical points in their lives about their identity (e.g., professional and community), reflective learning/practice, and end of life to explore the manners in which meaning-making leads them to productively engage with conflict. She also explores how marginalized individuals create alternate stories and counter-narratives to address institutional injustices.

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