Roma Never Die Alone

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A common characteristic of Roma as a cultural group is that they do not allow their elderly to die alone. Nevertheless, rooted in a mainstream cultural perspective of health provision services, public institutions usually do not allow Roma people to be with their loved ones in their last moments. Following the communicative methodology, we conducted a communicative case study on the death of the most relevant female Roma leader in Catalonia. She was accompanied by more than two hundred family members and friends in her room and corridor at an important hospital in Barcelona. We performed our research in the 2 years following her death to obtain the reflections of the Roma members involved. These reflections revealed the egalitarian dialogue forged between these Roma members and the hospital personnel, which enabled the former to embrace their culture and support their loved ones before death. Because this dialogue was possible and fruitful, the acknowledgment of cultural diversity and the improvement of the quality of services offered to Roma might also be possible in other health institutions.

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