Dignity conserving care: research evidence

Shane Sinclair and Harvey M. Chochinov

in Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571390
Published online August 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665037 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbook in Public Health

Dignity conserving care: research evidence

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Palliative Medicine


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Dignity conserving care provides a framework and rhetoric for entering the realm of human spirituality. While this path traverses the patient’s beliefs, values and experiences, it provides a means to explore an innately human quest for meaning and purpose. Clinicians working at the end-of-life are encouraged to address dignity related issues not only through the incorporation of tools and techniques, but also by examining the modifying effect that their intrinsic qualities have on their patient’s sense of dignity. The role of healthcare providers in this journey cannot be underestimated. Dignity, while ultimately defined by the patient, is often distilled in the aretic qualities of those who provide care during the sacred season of life drawing to a close. In this chapter the authors discuss the implications and effect of dignity-conserving care in clinical practice. While a growing body of empirical evidence related to dignity care is reviewed, they also discuss how the intrinsic qualities of healthcare professionals serve as powerful modifiers of patient dignity.

Chapter.  5237 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Palliative Medicine

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