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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2011 Feb;28(1):7-15. doi: 10.1177/1049909110374301. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

End-of-life experiences: reaching out for compassion, communication, and connection-meaning of deathbed visions and coincidences.

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King's College Institute of Psychiatry, London, United Kingdom.


A recent study shows that the greatest fear for many Britons is to die alone. More than half the complaints received by the UK National Health Service (NHS) concern end-of-life care, with an emphasis on spiritual matters. Much has been written on the spiritual needs of the dying, but many doctors and nurses still find this a difficult area to approach. They lack the confidence and/or training to recognize or discuss spiritual aspects of death and dying or to affirm the spiritual needs of the dying person. Our end-of-life experience (ELE) research suggests that deathbed visions (DVs) and deathbed coincidences (DCs) are not uncommon, and that the dying process appears to involve an instinctive need for spiritual connection and meaning, requiring compassionate understanding and respect from those who provide end-of-life care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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