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The death doula (DD) role has emerged over the past few years and has established itself in the end-of-life care arena. While consensus has not been reached on an agreed definition of a DD, it is understood to be a non-medical role whereby support, comfort, advocacy and guidance is provided to someone who is dying and / or their family / friends. With the role growing in popularity and in numbers, the Palliative Care Australia Peaks CEO Network identified a need for increased understanding of the Death Doula role and its intersection with palliative care service delivery and patient support. This was discussed at the Australian Palliative Care Peaks CEO Network meeting, where it was agreed that Flinders University researchers who have been studying the role should be involved and that a roundtable should be held.

The aim of the round table from the Australian Palliative Care Peaks CEO Network perspective was to find common ground between stakeholders, and to ultimately consider the development of a position statement around the role of DD, and guidance documents for consumers wanting to engage a DD.

From the analysis of the roundtable proceedings, seven major themes were extracted from the analysis: awareness and understanding, descriptions of the death doula role, interaction and collaboration between sectors, blurring of boundaries, variation in role/practice, safeguarding and quality of care, and registration and regulation. Five minor themes were also detailed: the role of palliative care volunteers, equity of access, Voluntary Assisted Dying, training and certification; acceptance of the role.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAdelaide
PublisherFlinders University
Number of pages34
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameRePaDD White paper


  • Death doulas
  • RePaDD White Paper
  • Palliative Care, Death & Dying
  • End of life care


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