Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hindus & Hospice

Many Hindu beliefs align with hospice and palliative care goals.  A senior research specialist at the City of Hope in Duarte explored the Hindu concepts of suffering, karma and reincarnation in a recent article in the Journal of Hospice and Palliative Nursing.

Susan Thrane, MSN, RN, OCN, explained that among other similarities, Hindus often believe that death should neither be sought or prolonged, values that reflect the hospice philosophy.  However, they do sometimes believe that physical suffering is beneficial in that it can lead to spiritual growth, perhaps resulting in a better birth in a future life.

Although palliative and hospice care usually seeks to relieve pain and suffering, it also seeks to help individuals meet their personal goals, and sensitive to cultural beliefs.

Thrane found that Hindus tend to be family oriented, and may often defer health care decisions to the oldest son. 

There are an estimated 2.3 million Hindus in the US.

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