- The compassion of concealment: silence between older caregivers and dying patients in the AIDS era, northwest Tanzania
- Culture, Health & Sexuality
- Volume | Issue number
- 14 | S1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In northwest Tanzania, where AIDS has been present for 25 years, AIDS-related illness is a trigger through which community members discuss personal experiences of loss and assess social relationships. The terminal phase of AIDS demands intimate social relations between patients and caretakers. In this final phase of illness, caretakers are scrutinised for their behaviour towards the patient. In the moral world in which care giving takes place, the act of concealing is considered an intrinsic part of proper care. Current debates on morality, stigma and secrecy inform my argument that acts of concealment around dying are not so much related to the exclusion and ostracism of patients but to inclusion and compassionate care.
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