The Role of the End-of-Life Doula
Limitations to Practice
- The essence of doula care is to provide non-medical, non-judgmental support and guidance to individuals and families through times of critical, transformative life change.
- EOL doulas nurture, inform, support, guide, empower and comfort.
- EOL doulas work with other caregivers and members of the medical team.
- Doulas foster self-determination in their clients by assisting them in gathering information and encouraging them to make informed choices that are right for them.
- For client needs outside of the doula’s scope of practice, the doula makes referrals to appropriate professionals and community resources.
- Doula support is focused on, and adapted to, the unique needs and requirements of each family served.
Limitations to Practice
- As non-medical care providers, end-of-life doulas do not perform clinical tasks (e.g., monitor vital signs, administer medication).
- The doula refrains from giving medical advice or from persuading clients to follow a specific course of action or treatment.
- The doula refrains from imposing his/her own values and beliefs on the client.
- Doulas do not undermine their clients’ confidence in their caregiver(s). Instead, the doula uses good listening skills to support clients who initiate a discussion about dissatisfaction with a caregiver's practice or attitudes.
- Doulas do not usurp the role of other professionals and caregivers such as the hospice nurse, social worker, chaplain, home health aide, etc.
- Doulas may be present at the request of the client, but doulas do not facilitate the medical aid-in-dying process
Who We Are
Full Circle of Living and Dying is a Collective of women and men who deeply know the sacredness of the end-of-life. We know that in general our communities have been deeply affected by past death experiences and want to learn a better way of doing death. We know that conversations about death are not easy. Perhaps these talks never happen at all, leaving most people uneducated on the options available in dying and after death care. We know the confusion, fear, and exhaustion that comes with caring for a dying loved one. Our hearts are filled with the desire to be of service. We provide guidance and empower everyone to be involved in the preciousness of the dying process. Even if that involvement is just a little bit at first, we know it will grow. We know it will heal.