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Debate | Roundtable Conversation

Anthropological perspectives on silence and care at the end of life

Friday 28 June 2024
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden

How do people speak or not speak about dying and end of life care? Current Western biomedicine and palliative care approaches emphasize open information provision and discussion of end of life care, even though patients and health care providers note that this is not always implemented. At the same time, anthropologists and other scholars point at the socio-cultural diversity of silence and speech about death and dying, and the ways talking and not talking are entangled with structures of social inequality.

In this roundtable conversation, medical anthropologists discuss their insights on the socio-cultural values of silence and speech at the end of life and reflect on how these insights can inform professional health care practices.

Speakers at this roundtable event will be: Hanum Atikasari (Leiden University), Erica Borgstrom (Open University), Devin Flaherty (University of Texas San Antonio), Sarah Lamb (Brandeis University), Merav Shohet (Boston university), Scott Stonington (University of Michigan), and Adrienne Strong (University of Florida). The roundtable will be moderated by Annemarie Samuels (Leiden University).


Participation at the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. For registration please use this registration link


The roundtable will be followed by drinks in the Leiden University Faculty Club (Rapenburg 73 Leiden).

The project hosting this event has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 851437).

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