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Health, Medicine, Nursing
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Theory of End of Life Care Across Culture (Term Paper Sample)

Theory for End of Life Care Across Culture source..
Theory of End of Life Care across Culture Name of student Institution Theory of End of Life Care across Culture Culture refers to the way in which people determine what to value in life, how they behave, and how they give meaning to their lives (Schim & Doorenbos, 2010). Health care in all settings, stages of life, and in all types of patients is greatly determined by their way of life. Caring for patients in their terminal stages of death requires an understanding of their culture, and interaction through that culture, in order, to achieve desirable results. High value is attached to culture by a person who is in the terminal stages of death. This attachment is associated with cultural symbols, and the view that culture provides a sense of security, belonging and integrity. Differences in attitudes are recognizable among palliative patients, and they have a background in culture (Phillip & Charles, 2003). This has been associated with various reasons such as the disparities in access to health, treatment and perception of pain in different cultures and negative stereotypes towards minorities. The components of culture that bring these differences include age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion and spirituality, sexual orientation, and beliefs about causes of death and afterlife. For example, research shows that African-Americans are less likely to discuss the end of life care with clinicians, while whites will do (Phillip & Charles, 2003). Also, immigrants from, Mexico, China and Korea believe that discussing death brings it closer. Decision-making is a very important component of culture in end of life care. Research shows that the Americans give the patient the autonomy of making a decision in their terminal stages (Kwak & Haley, 2005). Europeans and Asians have been seen to be more considerate on beneficence. The Asians, for example, allow the physician to make a decision, while the French considers the family to be the best to make a decision. In lieu of the cultural differences that exist among people, it is paramount that the clinician consider them in the delivery of care. The best approach to go about this is to start by assessing the client and the family's beliefs on care (Koenig & Williams, 1995). For example, in the western world, it is believed that the client should be consulted on everything that is being done to them. In such an environment, the nurse may not just go ahead and plan care in advance, without first consulting the clinician. The nurse thus should build and maintain trust with the patient and the family. Community and religious leaders may be involved, and the nurse communicates to the patient in a caring manner (Hern et al., 1998). The role of an interpreter may be sought, but the interpreter should not replace the caregiver. In addition, the nurse considers addressing communication barriers, religion and spirituality, as well as, involving the family in care. Because of the variations that arise as dictated by culture, the nurse needs to be ready to accommodate differences in treatment preferences. Communication with the patient is a vital aspect to consider. The nurse or caregiver needs to have a trained medical interpreter, and refrain from the use of complicated medical jargon. The client is addressed directly, and the members of the family are allowed as per the desire of the client. This can result in the development of a cultural support team, and will...
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