Natashe Lemos Dekker
Postdoc / Lecturer
Natashe Lemos Dekker is a postdoctoral researcher at the Leiden Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology. Her research focuses on death and dying, end-of-life care, and dynamics of time and future-making in Europe and Latin America. Her work is situated within medical and psychological anthropology, the anthropology of time, and gender studies.
Standardising care of the dying: An ethnographic analysis of the Liverpool Care Pathway in England and the Netherlands
Anticipatory Grief in Dementia: An Ethnographic Study of Loss and Connection
Relating to the end of life through advance care planning: Expectations and experiences of people with dementia and their family caregivers
(Un)timely Crises: Chronotopes and Critique
Anticipating an unwanted future: euthanasia and dementia in the Netherlands
Natashe Lemos Dekker is a postdoctoral researcher in the ERC project “Globalizing Palliative Care? A Multi-sited Ethnographic Study of Practices, Policies and Discourses of Care at the End of Life” at Leiden University. She has extensive experience in research on end-of-life and palliative care, aging, dementia, normativity and temporalities.
She was awarded her PhD in anthropology by the University of Amsterdam for her thesis titled: “Timing Death: Entanglements of Time and Value at the End of Life with Dementia in the Netherlands”. In 2016, she was a visiting scholar at the Faculté des sciences infirmières at the Université de Montréal. Currently, she is a board member of the Medical Anthropology Europe Network of the EASA. She has given invited talks at the Freie Universität, Berlin, the University of Exeter, the University of Bristol, and the Université de Montréal.
Her article, Anticipating an unwanted future: Euthanasia and dementia in the Netherlands was published in JRAI and was awarded with the Scholars’ Medal by the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS) and the 1st Prize INTERDEM Academy Publication Award 2020-2021. She co-edited a special issue with Annette Leibing on Fallacies of Care in the Journal of Aging Studies. Her publications also include: Competing goods and Fallacies of Care: Moral Deliberations at the End of Life in the Nursing Home (Journal of Aging Studies); Moral frames for lives worth living: Managing the end of life with dementia (Death Studies); Palliative care for people with dementia in the terminal phase: qualitative studies to inform service development (BMC Palliative Care, co-authored); and Standing at the doorstep: Affective encounters in research on death and dying in the volume Affective dimensions of fieldwork and ethnography (Springer). She also co-edited a Palgrave Pivot on (Un)timely Crises: Chronotopes and Critique.
In her current research, Natashe focuses on end-of-life and palliative care in a context of rapid aging in Brazil. She asks how care for the dying is provided and accessed both in hospital and home settings, and aims to understand the experiences of elderly people of living toward the end of life. The research contributes to the overarching aim of the project to offer a medical anthropological approach to the globalization and cultural mediation of palliative care practices, policies, and discourses. It does so by examining how local end-of-life care practices impact palliative care and how globally circulating discourses of palliative care are transforming local notions of death and dying; and how palliative care practices, policies and discourses are translated, adapted and reconstituted in the Brazilian socio-cultural context.
Her PhD research at the University of Amsterdam focused on the entanglements of time and moral value at the end of life with dementia in the Netherlands. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in nursing homes, she argued that the pursuit of a good death with dementia is both a temporal and moral project: experiences of time (such as waiting, enduring, prolonging, and hastening), as well as efforts to find the “right” time, play a central role in the pursuit of a “good” death with dementia. Moreover, this research foregrounds the role of anticipation in how people live toward the end of life and shows how managing the end of life is part of future-making.
Natashe coordinated a subproject on the impact of social isolation on vulnerable older adults during COVID-19 in the Netherlands as part of the overall project ‘Social Isolation: The impact of Covid-19 on social vulnerable groups in the Netherlands’ (ZonMw). See www.coronatijden.nl.
For more information about Natashe's past and current projects see: www.nlemosdekker.com
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