Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Washington U.

Grant number

Gr. 10741

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Youn, Seok Joo (Washington U.) "Terminal Caregiving: Investigating Hybrid Solutions to Dying in an Aging Society"

The study examines how the influx of nonfamily caregivers, norms of good care, and culture of medicine affect family caregivers’ role in the terminal care network. The dynamics of terminal phase care networks have actively changed throughout recent socioeconomic developments in South Korea. With rapid population aging, deaths in hospitals increased to an unprecedented level, leading to the growth of hospice care as an alternative option. As nonfamily caregivers’ roles in hospice care become indispensable and the demand for their care increases, the traditional role of family caregivers and the concept of filial piety are being questioned and renegotiated within newly established heterogeneous care relationships. While Korea’s end-of-life care is at the intersection of social, medical, and cultural transitions, little is known about what the care network does, who comprises it, how the caregiving role is negotiated and shared, and how acute care-driven hospitals reflect transitioning care norms. By situating the transitioning family’s caregiving involvement, care norms, and culture of medicine at the intersection of anthropological explorations of new kinship, care ethics, and institutions, this study aims to reconceptualize care-mediated social networks by examining patients with life-limiting diseases.