Palliative Care for the LGBTI Community
Some LGBTI individuals are not in close contact with their family of origin. Some have no children, or have children who do not accept their life decisions. All of this can impact at the end of life, meaning that for those LGBTI individuals who are relatively isolated with few practical support networks, their options for where they can be cared for are reduced. Equally, others have strong family and social networks, may reconcile with family, old friends or with children.
In end-of-life decision making, the preferences of the person who is ill to have a partner advocate for them may not be recognised by their family. Same sex partners may not be recognised either socially or legally. This could be in respect to carers leave, as next of kin in decision making, in business matters, decisions about burial or cremation, and access to the body of the partner while dying or after death. This may also include rights to benefits after a partner has died. LGBTI people in relationships which are not recognized under the law may need to give power of attorney to their partners to ensure they are not excluded from participating in important decision making about the care of their partner. (CareSearch)