A Good Death

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A Good Death: Patient Wishes Regarding End of Life Care Death is an inevitable part of life that affects every person differently. Even with modern technology and advancements in medicine, many people still experience a prolonged death, sometimes against their wishes (Tong et al., 2003). According to Wilson et al. (2009), there has been increasing concern for people to have a “good death”, primarily in part because of the expansion of the palliative care and hospice movement. The Institute of Medicine defines a good death as one “free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients, families, and caregivers; in general accord with patient’s and families wishes; and reasonably consistent with clinical, cultural and ethical standards,” (Tong…show more content…
The most popular being that patients want their physical comfort to be a priority during the dying process. The remaining concerns for patients include the burdens of death on their family, where they die, the presence of others, concerns about prolonging life unnecessarily, an inability to communicate, emotional health, spiritual care, cultural practices for death, and the fear of losing their independence and ability to make decisions. Although these categories apply to a vast majority of people, every person has a different idea of what dying a good death means and it is important for health care providers to understand these wishes on an individual level (Tong et al., 2003). When discussing the topic of death it is imperative to understand the public views so that implements can be put into place to bring this topic up earlier in life and encourage discussions about individual preferences for end-of-life care (Tong, et al., 2003). This paper will investigate different perspectives about dying a good death and quality of end of life care from multiple populations including American, Hindu, Muslim, rural populations and homeless. Furthermore, this paper will outline important nursing implications for providing patients with the highest level of end of life…show more content…
According to de Jong and Clarke (2009), a good death is one where people feel like they have “lived a good life” and are given the opportunities to prepare themselves for death. de Jong and Clarke (2009) also examine how in a good death people felt like they were given more control over their death when they could tell the care team their wishes regarding their care. It is imperative that nurses and other healthcare workers help accommodate the wishes of the patients to ensure that they can receive a “good death” (Doorenbos et al., 2006). According to Henry and Hayes (2013), it is the responsibility of the care team to review the wishes of the patient and to maintain good communication throughout the dying process so that nothing is overlooked or forgotten. Henry and Hayes (2013) also refer to the importance of respecting the wishes of resuscitation and organ donation as well as the recognition that to many people end of life care should not stop at the moment of death. In summary, nurses and other healthcare workers need to be cognizant of different cultures, population and religions and their beliefs in regards to death and dying, so that every individual can receive a dignified
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