Although people in general may have different views and/or ideas on death and dying, is it possible to come to some kind of consensus on its definition? In this essay paper titled, “What Is the Meaning of a Good Death?” I will focus on its definition; discuss where this idea came from and its relation to a traditional Buddhist death. Based on class lecture readings from RLCT 2066 (Death, Dying & Spirituality) and research completed on the subject I will offer the reader a good understanding of the titles meaning through discussions and conclude with my interpretation of what preparations are made for death in relation to a traditional Buddhist death. In Gielen’s (2006) article he speaks ...view middle of the document...
The medical model in basic simple terms was set up to mend the injured or heal the sick. Looking back into her educational background in social work, the medical field, her experience and merciless work would help bring what her patients were in need of with regards to end of life care. It was Saunders own empathy towards humankind and the understanding of what her patients needed close to their deaths that gave her the vision to open up England’s first hospice. Speaking in terms of initial work done by Saunders there was never any pressure put onto the sick and dying that would point towards any religion for her patients. Bramadat et al., (2013) state that:
[In Saunders’s view, a good death honors the whole of life-material affairs, human relationships, and spiritual needs (2006, 266). She further defines a good death as “attention to the achievements that a patient could still make in the face of his physical deterioration and awareness of the spiritual dimension of his final search for meaning” (1981, ix). Spiritual needs are defined by Saunders as follows: “’Spiritual’ concerns the spirit of higher moral qualities, especially as regarded in a religious aspect with beliefs and practices held to more or less faithfully. But ‘spiritual’ also covers much more than that-the meaning of life at its deepest levels as understood through our patients’ different religions.”]
In this instance and when the medical model failed Saunders patient’s, her implementation of England’s first Hospice proves she provided from a social perspective and on an advocated continuum level of care the best end of life care possible. Although Saunders patients may have faced many issues in illness and death, she used all her available resources which would allow them to die a dignified death from the social aspect while tending to them without pressure to their religious or spiritual beliefs. Although historical in nature, we are slowly looking back into the original implementation of hospice care to form new ways in dealing with death in todays
cultures. Another interpretation of dying a good death in terms of palliative care comes from The World Health Organization and it states:
“The World Health Organization defines Palliative care as a holistic approach aimed at improving the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual.” (WHO, 2010)
Living a healthy lifestyle is essential in improving ones health and sometimes too much dependence on the medical model to heal you is a set up for disaster. The medical model was mainly set up to treat and cure disease and sadly the Doctor that may treat you will be considered as failing if he/she doesn’t cure you. Without prejudice should you not be cured, part of your...