This practical guide summarizes the principles of working with dying patients and their families influenced by the most common world religions. It also outlines the main legal requirements to be followed by those who care for the dying following the death of the patient.
The first part of the book provides a reflective introduction to the general influences of world religions on matters to do with dying, death, and grief. Noting the contested relationships between ethics and religion, and culture and religion, this section discusses how knowledge about a range of religious teachings and customs may be used critically and self-reflectively in the care of specific individual cases of dying, death and loss. The second part contains an introduction to the general customs and beliefs of the major religions that are encountered in hospitals, hospices, care homes and home care services. It also includes discussion of non-religious spirituality, humanism, agnosticism and atheism. The final part outlines key socio-legal aspects of death across the UK.
Religion, Death and Law provides key knowledge, discussion and reflection for dealing with the diversity of everyday care of dying in different cultural contexts. It is an important reference for practitioners working with dying patients, their families and the bereaved.
1. Introduction 2. Faith, why people believe and the need for tolerance 3. The characteristics of a religion or belief system 4. The range of belief paradigms 5. What happens when we die? 6. The soul: what is it; where is it; and does it exist? 7. What does death mean to patients and their relatives?