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Clinical encounters and culturally competent practice: the challenges of providing cancer and infertility care

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JournalPolicy and Politics
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Jul 2013
DatePublished (current) - Oct 2014
Issue number4
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)581-596
Early online date4/07/13
Original languageEnglish


This qualitative paper compares how practitioners respond to adults from two ethnic groupings (defined for analytical purposes as South Asian and White), whose fertility is threatened by cancer. Our findings suggest practitioners, in their struggle to offer culturally sensitive care, negotiate various competing ideas, reflecting wider cultural assumptions underpinning notions of ethnicity, gender, fertility and responsible parenthood within the context of premature death posed by a diagnosis of cancer. Wider social and political responses to minority ethnic groups often intersect with personal and professional judgements in influencing what practitioners regard as appropriate care. Our conclusion explores the need for a more pluralistic response to facilitating culturally competent care.

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