Skip to main content

End-of-life planning in the South Asian community

Older South Asian man hugging a child

End-of-life care is never an easy topic of conversation. For people of South Asian descent, discussions about death and dying can also carry with them cultural norms and family traditions that differ from those of mainstream Western cultures, which the health care system in British Columbia is largely built upon.

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute (VCHRI) researcher Dr. Amrish Joshi designed his new study to raise awareness about advanced care planning among English-speaking Canadians of South Asian origin. 

Working alongside another physician of South Asian heritage, as well as two nurses of Filipino and Chinese descent, Joshi conducted five focus groups on the subject of end-of-life care with 18 South Asian participants from the general public.  

Joshi found that participants who had only been in the country for a couple of months were more reluctant to speak on the subject, versus individuals who have lived in Canada for many years.

Religious views, levels of education and language barriers were also identified in Joshi’s research as factors that influenced how participants navigated through the advanced care planning process. 

Learn more about Dr. Joshi's study at


Dr. Amrish Joshi received a VCHRI Team Grant in support of his seminal research into conversations with members of the South Asian community about advanced care.

SOURCE: End-of-life planning in the South Asian community ( )
Page printed:

Copyright © Vancouver Coastal Health. All Rights Reserved.