Hospitals, clinics, and palliative care units: Place-based experiences of formal healthcare settings by people experiencing structural vulnerability at the end-of-life Academic Article uri icon

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  • The process of dying pronounces inequities, particularly for structurally vulnerable populations. Extending recent health geography research, we critically explore how the 'places' of formal healthcare settings shape experiences of, and access to, palliative care for the structurally vulnerable (e.g., homeless, substance users). Drawing on 30 months of ethnographic data, thematic findings reveal how symbolic, aesthetic, and physical elements of formal healthcare 'places' intersect with social relations of power to produce, reinforce, and amplify structural vulnerability and thus, inequities in access to care. Such knowledge may inform decision-makers on ways to enhance equitable access to palliative care for some of societies' most vulnerable population groups.


  • Giesbrecht, Melissa
  • Stajduhar, Kelli I
  • Mollison, Ashley
  • Pauly, Bernie
  • Reimer-Kirkham, Sheryl
  • McNeil, Ryan
  • Wallace, Bruce
  • Dosani, Naheed
  • Rose, Caelin

publication date

  • September 2018