Improving end-of-life care for Muslim patients

Credit: Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

Mehrunisha Suleman’s research on Islam and bioethics in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies has demonstrated the need for healthcare professionals and policymakers to better understand and address the needs of the Muslim community, particularly pertaining to ethical decision-making at end of life (ELC).

Suleman’s research has examined the values and experiences of patients, families and professionals deliberating ELC decisions. She has also collaborated on numerous programmes examining the impact of emerging biomedical technologies on minority faith and ethnic groups and, in particular, Muslims.

The research has been impactful in terms of capacity building, shaping practice and influencing policy in relation to the training needs of professionals, and in improving the healthcare access needs of minority faith and cultural groups.

It has influenced national medical (National Health Service), political and religious organisations (Muslim Council of Britain) on the needs, barriers and inequalities faced by Muslims when accessing ELC services. It has also improved the training of around 350 healthcare professionals, faith leaders and community representatives through collaborative partnerships with primary care trusts and community organisations.

She has been appointed to strategic bodies such as the Nuffield Council of Bioethics and to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s Ethics Teacher Training Course, where she has played a key role towards capacity building in Malaysia, Indonesia and New Zealand.

“As a hospital chaplain it is crucial to have as wide as possible an understanding of people from different background… I now have more confidence to support our Muslim patients and will be looking to further resources to grow in my understanding.”

– Hospital Chaplain attending from training on ELC for Muslim patients