Causes of Death Among an Urban Homeless Population Considered by the Medical Examiner

Those who are homeless face illness and death, however, live in places not conducive to provision of end-of-life care. Limited information exists on causes of death among this group of people. To characterize causes of death, data were requested from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for Alberta Justice, Canada, for people determined to be homeless in the period 2007–2009. One hundred and thirty-two deaths were reported. Most deaths that could be classified were attributed to drug and alcohol use/abuse and to natural causes. For many, end-of-life circumstances may have been improved through provision of palliative care delivered in a hospice setting.

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Journal of Social Work in End-Of-Life & Palliative Care