Palliative Care Queensland

Scoping Review Examines Barriers to Palliative Care for LGBTIQ+ Community

As an organisation that promotes access to palliative care for all, PCQ Interim CEO John Haberecht welcomed a Scoping Review by LGBTIQ+ Health Australia that looked at the existing literature on palliative and end-of-life care for LGBTIQ+ communities from 2016-2020.

The challenges faced by the LGBTIQ+ community were highlighted during the recent Palliative Care Tasmania conference attended by Mr Haberecht.

“It is no secret that Palliative Care Queensland believes that access to palliative care for all members of our community is vital, mirroring the thinking of the World Health Organisation, which has explicitly recognised access to palliative care as a human right,” said John.

“From First Nations peoples to the LGBTIQ+ community, historical cultural barriers have limited access to care, so any review that looks at the causes of an imbalance in care or access to care is welcome if we are to work towards our mission to ensure that every person who dies in Queensland experiences quality at the end of life.”

At the conference, John heard from international speaker Kimberley Acquaviva of the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, who spoke about her experience when her wife was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer.

“It was challenging to hear about the experiences of Kimberley and her wife as well as the difficult decision that they had to make to not accept home-based palliative care due to their perception of a lack of explicit support for the LGBTIQ+ community from palliative care services. We can only hope that as society becomes more inclusive and quality end-of-life care more widespread that people will not be faced with choices similar to Kimberley’s,” said Mr Haberecht.

The scoping review explored the following themes as well as highlighting areas requiring more research and exploration:

  • barriers faced by LGBTIQ+ people accessing palliative or end-of-life care
  • facilitating factors that aim to address these barriers, and
  • recommendations on what should be included in future education and training.

A copy of the review can be downloaded at:

For more information on this issue, Palliative Care Tasmania hosted a webinar with Hannah Morgan, National Palliative Care Coordinator, LGBTIQ+ Health Australia a recording of which can be viewed here: Recording: Inclusive palliative care for LGBTIQ+ people (Palliative Care Tasmania webinar) using the webinar passcode: K@6Dy4B2

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