Finding Dignity at the End of Life : A Spiritual Reflection on Palliative Care book cover
1st Edition

Finding Dignity at the End of Life
A Spiritual Reflection on Palliative Care

ISBN 9780367206581
Published September 9, 2020 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

Finding Dignity at the End of Life discusses the need for palliative care as a human right and explores a whole-person methodology for use in treatment.

The book examines the concept of palliative care as a holistic human right from the perspective of multiple aspects of faith, ideology, culture, and nationality. Integrating a humanities-based approach, chapters provide detailed discussions of spirituality, suffering, and healing from scholars from around the world. Within each chapter, the authors address a different cultural and religious focus by examining how this topic relates to questions of inherent dignity, both ethically and theologically, and how different spiritual lenses may inform our interpretation of medical outcomes.

Mental health practitioners, allied professionals, and theologians will find this a useful and reflective guide to palliative care and its connection to faith, spirituality, and culture.

Table of Contents

Part I. 1. Defining Death Through Individual-Level Determinants Denisha Allicock, Kathleen Benton, Sara Plaspohl  2. Finding Dignity at the End of Life Through Palliative Care Everywhere Srivieng Pairojkul  3. Cultural Factors Enriching Palliative Care in the Middle East Azar Naveen Saleem and Azza Adel Hassan  4. A Jewish Understanding of Palliative Care Nadia Siritsky 5. Palliative Care: The Hindu Perspective Vidya Viswanath and Seema Rajesh Rao  6. Palliative Care: A Christian Perspective Mark E. Murphy 7. A Nontraditional Spirituality Perspective on Palliative Care and End of Life Denise C. Thompson Part II. 8. Pain, Suffering, and Palliative Sedation Carlo Casalone  9. Compassionate Presence: The Accompaniment of Patients and Families in the Midst of Their Suffering Christina Puchalski 10. Evidenced-based Communication in the Palliative Conversation Kimberson Tanco and Eduardo Bruera 11. Holy Name Meditation: A Spiritual Intervention to Conserve Dignity of Patients and Nurses Sr. Jinsun Yong and Hun Lee 12. Disclosure of Diagnosis to Patients  Emmanuel Luyirika Part III. 13. Challenges to Dignity from Medically Assisted Death Nuala Patricia Kenny 14. Health Policy Considerations for Spiritual Care in the United States Howard K. Koh and Eric Coles 15. Pediatrics and Aging: Palliative Care Franca Benini and Ferdinando Cancelli  16. International Palliative Care Advocacy Katherine Irene Pettus  17. Dignity Redefined: Mindfulness in Suffering Kathleen Benton, Ursula Bates, David Shannon, Michael DeLoach, Julia DeLoach 18. Conclusion Renzo Pegoraro

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Kathleen Benton is president and CEO for Hospice Savannah, Inc. She is an experienced clinical ethics and palliative care director with a history of working in the hospital and healthcare industry.

Renzo Pegoraro is a doctor, moral theologian, and bioethicist. He is chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life and professor of bioethics at the Faculty of Theology, University of Padua.


"This book is an important entry into the global discussion about palliative care. The diverse perspectives and experience of the contributors will enrich the current understanding of what palliative care is and what it can be, even as it provokes a deeper and more textured discussion. Much of the focus of this volume, and what makes it a particularly valuable addition to a professional conversation that has been ongoing for more than thirty years, is the role that spirituality and religion play in palliative care, as they apply to better individual and social understanding of illness, of wellness and well-being, of mindfulness, and of relationships, particularly between providers, patients, and their families. Pegoraro and Benton are to be commended."MC Sullivan, RN, MTS, JD, chief healthcare ethicist, Archdiocese of Boston

"This ambitious volume is akin to a woven tapestry that draws the reader into the critical and interconnected concepts that comprise spirituality, dignity, and palliative care. The collaborative and layered approach brings the readers through an exploration of intrapersonal, interpersonal, institutional, community, and public-policy factors that comprise a normative vision for palliative care, and the varied barriers that must be overcome to realize that goal. That vision is rendered vivid and practical through the use of powerful stories of patients and families facing illness, a diverse array of spiritual and religious perspectives, and evocative discussion questions. This book is a key resource for palliative care trainees, practitioners, and advocates."Tracy A. Balboni, MD, MPH, FAAHPM, associate professor of radiation oncology, Harvard Medical School; clinical director, The Supportive and Palliative Radiation Oncology Service, Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center

"In the world beyond cure, everyone is a pilgrim and every path is individual and personal. The deeply thoughtful and carefully researched chapters in this book offer all travelers both the enduring wisdom of the world’s major faith traditions and the powerful psychological insights and interactive tools of today’s medicine. Finding Dignity at the End of Life is a light in the darkness for those who travel to an unknown and deeply personal destination and those who accompany them to the edge of the world, whether we share their path because of professional competence or because of our love."Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, professor of medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine; clinical professor of family and community medicine, UCSF School of Medicine

"A new tool for palliative care advocacy is here. Kathleen Benton and Renzo Pegoraro gather for us the voices of different cultures, religions, and practical approaches to palliative care. In the middle of different traditions and practices we can find the harmony of people caring in a holistic, compassionate, and respectful way for those that are in the critical moment of advanced disease and facing the end of their life. But the book is not only to recommend or promote palliative care. It is a practical roadmap, offering key points to those helping anyone in the spiritual process of saying goodbye. Relatives, caregivers, chaplains, and health professionals will enjoy reading through the pages of this book."Professor Carlos Centeno Cortés, head researcher, Atlantes Research Group, Institute of Culture and Society, University of Navarra