Centre for Palliative Medicine, University Hospital Cologne
Palliative care for LGBTIQ people
Cologne as a diverse city has one of the biggest LGBTIQ communities in Germany. A recent study estimates that 10.6 % of Cologne’s inhabitants identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, non-binary, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) compared to 6.9 % in other German cities (Wenzel, 2019). As the oldest and largest palliative care unit in Cologne, the Mildred Scheel house at the University Hospital is one of the places where LGBTIQ individuals spend their last days and weeks of life. A number of studies show that LGBTIQ people can face difficulties, stigma and discrimination at the end of life and that their specific health needs are often not addressed (e.g. Harding, Epiphaniou & Chidgey-Clark, 2012). So far, the team in Cologne has not actively reflected on the care we give to LGBTIQ people at the centre. Thus, this project would like to look into the following questions: How do we care for LGBTIQ people at the end of life at our unit? What are the specific needs of this population? And how can we improve the services at our institution in order to make them LBGTIQ-inclusive? By the end of the project, our team will have developed a written guideline for our palliative care unit in Cologne taking into account the specific needs of LGBTIQ patients at the end of life based on qualitative literature reviews and expert interviews.