Compassionate communities – What does this mean for roles such as a death doula in end-of-life care?

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Objectives: To consider death doulas in relation to compassionate communities, role delineation and regulation, and end-of-life care delivery. Study design: A narrative describing the emerging role of death doula in the increasingly complex end-of-life space. Methods: A discussion of death doula in end-of-life care. Results: Compassionate communities calls for the mobilisation of informal care around the dying and their families. Formal health services as well, including palliative care, are already providing care as are death doulas. The death doula role is not yet fully articulated and has layers of complexity associated with a lack of formalised training and no registration. Conclusions: There is much to consider in the informal caregiving space at the end of life. Conversations are required for coherent, coordinated care delivery in what has become a complex arena. There are those who are in paid positions, volunteers, those who are negotiating fees, as well as role overlap and role blurring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-169
Number of pages3
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Compassionate communities
  • Death doula
  • End-of-life
  • Health care regulation


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