Rethinking Palliative Care: A Social Role Valorisation Approach

Rethinking Palliative Care: A Social Role Valorisation Approach
Paul Sinclair,
Policy Press,
ISBN: 9781861349217,

Star rating: 3/5


This book pulls no punches in arguing that the palliative care model has failed, writes Kelvin Karim. The author, a social worker, draws upon his experience in the Australian disability sector to argue that palliative care devalues dying individuals.

Moreover, inherent to the palliative care model are significant factors that prevent death and dying from becoming normal valued parts of life. The author calls for the development of an alternative model of care.

This is where social role valorisation (SRV) comes in. Primarily used in the learning disability field, SRV is a concept first formulated in 1983 by Wolf Wolfensberger, a US psychologist and disability rights activist. SRV aims to enhance the perceived social roles of a person or group and, in the view of the author, rethinking palliative care requires the integration of SRV into the palliative care model.

Although written in an accessible style, a summary at the end of each chapter would have been helpful to the reader. Nevertheless, the text is likely to be an invaluable resource for academics. It may also be of some interest to practitioners wishing to critically analyse a palliative care model that has all too often seemed beyond reproach. Others with a passing interest may be best advised to obtain a library copy.

Kelvin Karim is TB clinical nurse specialist, Doncaster Primary Care Trust

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