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This event was part of Reimagine Spring Events

Table Talk: South Asian Perspectives on Palliative Care

Drawing on medicine, end-of-life doula work, spirituality, activism, and the arts, this Table Talk provides South Asian perspectives on providing comfort and palliative care to the dying.

Table Talk, a series created by and for people of color, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented communities, is an honest, lively, and unscripted conversation among health professionals, spiritual and faith-based leaders, artists, and other creative individuals to address this central question: What does it mean to live and die well in our respective communities?

In this Table Talk, two palliative care physicians of South Asian descent–Naheed Dosani, MD and Aditi Sethi, MD–explore strategies to overcome barriers to palliative care in North America, particularly for people of color and for those with underrepresented religious traditions. What are the misconceptions and fears surrounding palliative care? How can caregivers improve communication and bridge cultural gaps? What role do spirituality, art, and activism play in transforming pain into comfort?


Naheed Dosani

As a palliative care physician and health justice activist, Naheed Dosani, MD is dedicated to advancing equitable access to health care for people experiencing homelessness and marginalization. These efforts include founding Palliative Education and Care for the Homeless (PEACH) and serving as Medical Director for a regional COVID-19 Isolation/Housing Program in the Toronto area. Dr. Dosani shares his passion for health equity through education and advocacy efforts that include media, public speaking, social media and faculty appointments at the University of Toronto and McMaster University. Dr. Dosani's research interests include care models for people experiencing homelessness and access to palliative care among culturally diverse communities. His research also includes interventions to facilitate greater appreciation and uptake of palliative care services in South Asian populations. @NaheedD

Aditi Sethi

Aditi Sethi, MD is a hospice and palliative care physician, end-of-life doula, and executive director of the Center for Conscious Living and Dying. Soon to be featured in the forthcoming film The Last Ecstatic Days, Aditi is an emerging and important voice for shifting our culture’s understanding and approach to dying, death, and bereavement care. As a child under the guidance of her parents (Kapil and Ranjit Sethi) and grandparents from India, Aditi studied devotional music from the Sikh and Hindu traditions. Her other music pursuits include playing music with her husband, Jay Brown, a musician and hospice music therapist. Aditi and Jay recently formed a group called The Appalucians, with Angie Heimann and Cas Sochaki. Releasing their first CD “Bright Hills” in 2018, the Appalucians play music from the mountains of Western North Carolina, featuring spirited songwriting, tight harmonies, and a lovely layered interplay between dobro, guitars, harp, bass, and banjo. Aditi and Jay are the parents of three children and live in Black Mountain, NC.

About Table Talk

We recognize that marginalized communities and cultures -- Black, Indigenous, Latino/a/x, Asian American, Disabled, LGBTQ+, etc. -- have their own unique perspectives and shared truths. All of these groups face tremendous challenges in dealing with serious illness, dying, grief, discrimination. And there is a shared need for platforms to talk about these issues freely in order to connect, learn, heal, remember, and take action.

While individual Table Talks are developed by and for specific communities, we recognize that often these groupings are permeable. Many of us describe more than one group as “home,” and many of us have experienced oppression based on multiple aspects of our intersecting identities: race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and more.

Reimagine invites people of all backgrounds to join us to witness, listen and learn at Table Talk. Ultimately we are creating space rooted in the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in order for everyone to thrive.

Table Talk is made possible with support from the Fetzer Institute and the John and Wauna Harman Foundation.


Talk, Panel, & Conversation
Spirituality Arts & Entertainment End-of-Life Planning Healthcare Social Justice & Race