April 19, 2017

Sabr: Pain and Palliation in the Islamic Middle East

Elisabeth Feltaous

Palliative care and the rhetoric of dying with dignity has proliferated in the past 20 years in the Western world yet progress has been slow in the Middle East.  This talk examines the Human Rights discourse of dying with dignity and contrasts it with the economic reality of the medical system in the Middle East. In a public/ private model of healthcare, where medical technology is only accessible to some and opioid use is distrusted, how is pain conceptualized? Are Western ethical issues at the end of life easily translated in this region? This talk draws attention to alternative discourses at the end of life that explain why some people ask for pain relief, some do not, and some choose to submit to the will of God.

About the Presenter

Feltaous PC symbol

Elisabeth is a first-year medical anthropology PhD student at the University of Toronto supervised by Drs. Krista Maxwell and Sarah Hillewaert. Her Masters’ dissertation focused on the model of western palliative care endorsed by the World Health Organization, its implementation in the Middle East, and lived experiences and expressions of pain at the end of life. Elisabeth holds a Masters of Science from Oxford University and a Bachelors of Arts from the University of Toronto.

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