The term Doula comes from the Greek word for a woman who personally serves another, a woman's servant. Doula has traditionally been associated with a Birth doula, or someone who stays with a woman through her labor, birth and beyond. Hospice and End-of-Life care have borrowed this term to apply to specially trained hospice volunteers.
End of Life Doula
An End-of-Life Doula is a volunteer who provides companionship and comfort for people whose life expectancy is 18 months or less. Doulas often serve those who have limited support from family and friends, providing emotional, spiritual and social support as well as comfort and companionship.
End-of-Life Doulas work with one person at a time. They can help to minimize the sense of isolation, provide emotional comfort, assist with practical concerns and advocate on behalf of people with life limiting illness.
Also known as: Hospice Volunteers, Death Doula, Dying Doula, Companion for the Dying
Doula to Accompany and Comfort Program. The Shira Ruskay Center. 2006. 10 November 2006. <http://www.shiraruskay.org/doula.html>
Definition of Doula. DONA International. 2005. 10 November 2006. <http://www.dona.org/>
McClure R. What is a Doula? 10 November 2006. <http://childcare.about.com/od/homecare/f/Doula.htm>