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Clin Geriatr Med. 2004 Nov;20(4):689-714, vi-vii.

Spirituality, religion, and healing in palliative care.

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George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health, 2131 K Street, NW, Suite 510, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


In end-of-life care, attending to spiritual needs ensures that a dying patient has the opportunity to find meaning in the midst of suffering and to have the opportunity for love, compassion, and partnership in their final journey. This article summarizes some of the beliefs and traditions from Judaism, Islam, and Christianity that affect people as they face their own dying and mortality. People who do not participate in any formal religion also have a drive to find meaning in the midst of suffering and dying. They may find this in personal ways. This article presents some practical tools to help clinicians address and respect spiritual and religious issues of patients. It is crucial that our culture and our systems of care for the dying include a spiritual approach so that dying can be meaningful and even filled with hope.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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