Case Study: A Lebanese Immigrant Family Copes with a Terminal Diagnosis
The purpose of this case study is to inform the health care professional about some of the cultural norms, beliefs, practices of Arab immigrants in the United States towards terminal illness keeping in mind that cultural norms are dynamic and may change over time. The author of this study cautions health care professionals regarding making generalizations or stereotyping of a cultural group. The author encourages health care providers to complete a holistic patient centered health assessment of their clients and their families prior to making decisions about their care and to facilitate their understanding about the unique role of the culture in supporting Arab clients and their families experiencing terminal illness. Most importantly, health care professionals are encouraged to include social determinants of health in their health assessments of clients that may better prepare them in providing holistic, compassionate, patient centered, and culturally tailored health care.Samira, an 18-year-old female, has been complaining from extreme lethargy, loss of weight, and spiking temperature with unknown cause. Samira’s parents came to the United States with their four children from a rural area fleeing war and political unrest in their home country with the expectation that their children will have a better way of life in the United States. They immigrated to the United States as permanent residents with the sponsorship of Samira’s ailing uncle, Mr. Khalil, who is a citizen of the United States. They chose to live close to Mr. Khalil and in a community that has a large immigrant population from the Arab world.
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