Religion, Law and Death: A Source Book for Care of the Dying, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Religion, Law and Death

A Source Book for Care of the Dying, 1st Edition

By Peter Hutton, Ravi Mahajan, Allan Kellehear


240 pages

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pub: 2019-07-01
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Although every person and family must be treated as unique in their social and ethno-religious context, few health and social care practitioners are able to know even the basic customs, values or preferences of all the major religions relevant to the care they provide. 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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1: Interpretations of the mysteries of life and death Part 2: The ethnic and religious mix of society Part 3: Socio-legal aspects of death in the UK Conclusion

About the Authors

Peter Hutton is a consultant anaesthetist with a focus on neuroanaesthesia and trauma at the University Hospital Birmingham, UK, who also undertakes Medical Examiner duties.

Ravi Mahajan is Professor of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care at Nottingham University, UK.

Allan Kellehear is 50th Anniversary Professor (End of Life Care), Faculty of Health Studies, University of Bradford, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Geriatrics
MEDICAL / Nursing / General
MEDICAL / Physician & Patient