Indian Journal of Palliative Care
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 REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53--58

Spiritual perspectives and practices at the end-of-life: A review of the major world religions and application to palliative care


Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Correspondence Address:
S Bauer-Wu
1520 Clifton Road NE, Room 440, Atlanta, GA 30322
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-1075.38900

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Palliative care professionals promote well-being and ease suffering at the end-of-life through holistic care that addresses physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. The ways that individuals cope with serious illness and prepare for death are often done so within a religious context. Therefore, it is essential that palliative care practitioners are sensitive to and have an appreciation of different religious perspectives and rituals to meet the unique needs of their patients and families. This paper provides a brief overview of the five major world religions - Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism - with particular emphasis of the respective perspectives on suffering, death and afterlife. Despite wide variation in these traditions, an understanding of common rituals surrounding death, funerals and bereavement can improve care for patients, families and communities facing the end-of-life.






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Online since 1st October '05
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow