Companions on the Journey: Reflecting on End-of-life Care

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Morton, Mary
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
Many patients and families appear to lack a readiness for facing end of life issues. Clinical staff often do not have a clear understanding of ethical and religious principles that are part of end-of-life care. Family members hold on to hope for cures. Many people do not talk about end of life issues. For some death is viewed as an end. Some people experience an inability too balance objectivity and subjectivity as they enter the transitional journey with their loved one. Nationally one third of the admissions to hospice occur in the last week of life. There is a need for earlier interventions in end-of-life care. The intent of this project is to provide a mechanism whereby persons who have been involved with working with patients and families at the end of life can internalize and share the impact that this ministry has had on them.