© 2019

Ethical Challenges in Multi-Cultural Patient Care

Cross Cultural Issues at the End of Life

  • The only contemporary book devoted entirely to cross-cultural issues at the end of life

  • Places current issues regarding end-of-life communication in the context of historical trends and research evidence

  • Applies contemporary theories of medical ethics to cultural differences to achieve a deeper understanding of the underlying philosophical principles involved in diverse contexts


Part of the SpringerBriefs in Ethics book series (BRIEFSETHIC)

About this book


This book provides an up-to-date description of cross-cultural aspects of end-of-life decision-making. The work places this discussion in the context of developments in the United States such as the emphasis on patient informed consent, “right to die” legal cases, and the federal Patient Self-Determination Act. With the globalization of health care and increased immigration from developing to developed countries, health care professionals are experiencing unique challenges in communicating with seriously ill patients and their families about treatment options as well as counselling all patients about advance medical care planning. While many Western countries emphasize individual autonomy and patient-centered decision-making, cultures with a greater collectivist orientation have, historically, often protected patients from negative health information and emphasized family-centered decision-making. In order to place these issues in context, the history of informed consent in medicine is reviewed. Additionally, cross-cultural issues in health care decision-making are analysed from the perspective of multiple philosophical theories including deontology, utilitarianism, virtues, principlism, and communitarian ethics.  This book is a valuable addition to courses on end-of-life care, death and dying, cross-cultural health, medical anthropology, and medical ethics and an indispensable guide for healthcare workers dealing with patients coming from various cultural backgrounds.


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Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyLake Superior State UniversitySault Sainte MarieUSA

About the authors

H. Russell Searight. Ph.D., MPH is currently Professor of Psychology in the School of Health Services at Lake Superior State University. He has held previous academic positions at Saint Louis University School of Medicine and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Dr. Searight has conducted original research and published widely on cultural diversity, mental health and ethical issues in primary health care, and family dynamics.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Ethical Challenges in Multi-Cultural Patient Care
  • Book Subtitle Cross Cultural Issues at the End of Life
  • Authors H. Russell Searight
  • Series Title SpringerBriefs in Ethics
  • Series Abbreviated Title SpringerBriefs in Ethics
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy Philosophy and Religion (R0)
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-23543-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-23544-4
  • Series ISSN 2211-8101
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-811X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VII, 107
  • Number of Illustrations 1 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Bioethics
    Nursing Ethics
    Medical Anthropology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals


“The intended audience is practitioners who need a quick reference to enable them to meet minimal standards for education in cross-cultural care.” (Brandy M Fox, Doody’s Book Reviews, January 10, 2020)