Hospices and rituals after death: a survey of British hospice chaplains

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Abstract

This article presents the results of a survey asking British hospice chaplains to describe hospice involvement in post-mortem, funeral and memorial rituals. The findings are followed by discussion and comment from the author, who takes a sociologist's perspective on the issues raised. It was found that many hospices provided rites for the family, both immediately after death and in the year to come, although there were differing views regarding the extent to which other patients should be involved in such rites. The only hospices that became involved with the funeral itself were those who care for children and patients with AIDS. This may be related to the longer time over which a patient can build up relationships with other patients and staff. In some other hospices, funeral and memorial services were perceived by managers as morbid, fitting uncomfortably with the hospice emphasis on life. The article suggests that hospices should choose whether or not this is an area they wish to be involved in.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Palliative Nursing
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2003

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