CULTURAL ISSUES > Model for Multicultural Approach

Model for Multicultural Approach

We want everyone involved in compassionate care decisions to experience cultural dignity. That means their individual culture is honored and its integrity maintained.


In practice, this means everyone recognizes that each person involved in the discussion brings part of their culture with them, making the overall experience a mix of cultures. Patients and family members bring different backgrounds, expectations, knowledge and values with them, and they are experts in their own cultures.


Healthcare workers bring both their personal culture and the culture of the American healthcare system with them to the discussions. It is important they recognize that in that culture, they have more power than patients and try to bring “cultural humility” to the exchange.


Cultural humility requires an open mind and an awareness of their own biases, assumptions, and culture so that they don't inadvertently impose those on a patient  or family member.


Healthcare workers also need to make the healthcare system culturally competent, for example by addressing language needs so the cultural experience and knowledge of patients and family members can be properly valued in the discussion.

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