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Researchers from the University of Auckland’s School of Nursing, Dr. Lisa Williams and Dr. Tess Moeke-Maxwell, are seeking participants from the older Rainbow community to contribute to a study on palliative and end-of-life care, including perspectives on assisted dying.

This initiative aims to enhance the understanding and support available for LGBTQIA+ individuals during the later stages of life.

The study has already commenced interviews and is receiving positive feedback. “The participants have been incredibly open and eager to contribute their insights,” Lisa remarked, noting that many have experience in caring for those with life-limiting illnesses or nearing the end of life.

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The research intends to broaden both international and local academic discussions, offering fresh perspectives, particularly from the Aotearoa, New Zealand context, and emphasising Māori viewpoints. “There’s a gap in the literature concerning LGBTQIA+ experiences with palliative care, often skewed negatively due to personal hardships or historical trauma with healthcare systems,” Lisa explained.

With the recent introduction of assisted dying in Aotearoa, New Zealand, the researchers believe it is crucial to include this aspect in their study to enrich the existing, limited research on the topic.

Funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and the University of Auckland, the project also benefits from Lisa’s Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship. This grant supports her international research travels to the United States and the UK, where she will explore advancements in LGBTQIA+ palliative care and bring back valuable insights to share with local healthcare professionals and peers.

Those interested in participating in the study or seeking more information can reach out to Dr. Lisa Williams via email at la.williams@auckland.ac.nz

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