Policy Press

Rethinking palliative care

A social role valorisation approach

By Paul Sinclair


Apr 4, 2007

Page count

256 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Rethinking palliative care

This book's striking message is that palliative care does not deliver on its aims to value people who are dying and make death and dying a natural part of life. 

This book draws from wider social science perspectives and critically and specifically applies these perspectives to palliative care and its dominant medical model. Applying Social Role Valorisation, the author argues for the de-institutionalisation of palliative care and the development of an alternative framework to the approaches found in hospices, palliative care units and community-based palliative care services. He offers a new conceptualisation of death and loss that refines and expands modern understandings in a way that also resonates with traditional religious views concerning death.

Wide-ranging recommendations advise fundamental change in the concept of palliative care, the way support and services are organised and the day to day practice of palliative care.

Rethinking palliative care will be of interest to academics, students and practitioners in palliative care as well as those in disability, social policy, sociology, social work, religion, thanatology, nursing and other health related fields.

"...it is always helpful to challenge our commonly held perceptions. For palliative care, this new book by Paul Sinclair does just that... Through a carefully prepared discussion, Sinclair defends his critical perspective well, describing the components of SRV, whose resonance is clear within palliative care." Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol 60 (6) Dec 2007

"This book successfully makes the connection between two networks, each with their own theoretical and practical influences. Social Role Valorization (SRV) theory has had major effects on services for people with intellectual disabilities in a number of countries, not without controversy. The world of palliative care has equally seen much theoretical and practical debate, not least when it focuses on vulnerable people and the effects of how they are perceived - the heart of SRV. The book's challenge to current practice in palliative care is calling, with the aid of SRV theory, for a 're-think' of basic assumptions and influences, and is both timely and well laid out. It should be read by academics and practitioners in both the SRV and palliative care worlds." Dr David Race, Senior Lecturer, Salford University and author of 'Social Role Valorization and the English Experience'

Dr Sinclair is a social worker consulting in both the

palliative care and disability sectors in Melbourne, Australia.

Origin of the argument; Part one: The palliative care paradigm: Paradigm of care; Palliative care; Part two: Palliative care and social devaluation: Social role valorisation; Implications for palliative care; Part three: Reconceptualising palliative care: An ideal palliative care model; Reconceptualising death; The choice.