Spiritual and religious issues

Derek Doyle, David Jeffrey and Kenneth Calman

in Palliative Care in the Home

Published in print October 2000 | ISBN: 9780192632272
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730245 | DOI:
Spiritual and religious issues

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This chapter covers spiritual and religious issues, which are increasingly becoming a significant part of palliative care. Understanding the religious and spiritual needs and issues faced by patients is a core part of palliative care in the home. Religion for patients dealing with incurable diseases serves as their refuge. Seriously ill patients often recall the teachings and beliefs of their religion and return to religion for comfort. Spirituality, meanwhile, provides means for the patient to address any questions and doubts they may have. Together with good palliative care and an acceptance of the importance of spirituality in palliative care, patients can in a sense free themselves from pain and speak freely of the troubles they have. However important religion and spirituality have become in the field of palliative care, the imposition of religion and the aid of a priest or layperson should not be enforced upon an unreceptive patient.

Keywords: spiritual issues; religious issues; spirituality; religion; priest; comfort

Chapter.  2474 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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