Last Chance to Care: An Autoethnography of End- of-Life Care in Indonesia

Petra Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In Australia, palliative care is an accepted and expected part of contemporary health care service provision. Efficacious palliative care focusses on managing pain and symptoms and making the patient as comfortable as possible (World Health Organization Definition of Palliative Care (WHO, 2010). As well, palliative care focusses on the spiritual and psycho-social dimensions of life (Martina, 2017), providing the opportunity for the patient and their family to continue to be engaged with life and self-determined decision making throughout palliation. In this account, utilizing the qualitative research method of autoethnography the Australian author describes her experience of caring for her Indonesian father-in-law in the last week of his life. She explores emerging tensions associated with local end-of-life care and Western care which trigger deeper feelings associated with losing a loved one, complicated by the recent and sudden loss of her own parents. Narration is a powerful tool for capturing the verisimilitude of everyday experiences, evoking in the reader a powerful resonance into a very personal inner life which is often not spoken about in academic texts. This account, a cultural story of dying in East Java, Indonesia, also provides insight into the author’s expectations, as an Australian and concludes with some reflections about the emerging position of palliative care services in Indonesia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)2238-2250
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Report: an online journal dedicated to qualitative research since 1990
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2018


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