Gypsies and acute medical intervention

R. C. Wetzel, J. M. Dean, M. C. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recently, a 7-month-old, terminally ill Gypsy infant was admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit. Treating this child and her extended family was a challenging experience during which numerous culture-related problems were encountered. The Gypsy approach to acute medical care consisted of the presence of a large extended family unit, the lack of decision making by the patient's parents, and several different Gypsy traditions. There were diverse, and often derogatory, reactions and prejudices from the hospital staff. After interviewing family members, this family's needs were easier to understand, and interaction with them in culturally relevant terms was possible. When dealing with Gypsy families, identification of the responsible elder male members of the family, establishment of firm lines of communication with essential family members and the parents, and education of the medical staff concerning Gypsies are recommended.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-735
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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