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end-of-life, qualitative, religion, spirituality



  1. Zamer, Julie A. RN, BSN
  2. Volker, Deborah L. PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN


The purpose of this qualitative descriptive pilot study was to understand end-of-life ethical issues from the perspective of a diverse group of religious leaders. The specific aims were to describe the perspectives and experiences of religious leaders who have assisted individuals facing end-of-life ethical concerns and to evaluate the feasibility of conducting a larger study. Semistructured interviews were conducted in Central Texas with religious leaders from 4 different religions: Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism. Analysis revealed common themes among experiences of religious leaders, including respect and dignity of life and the body, challenges at end of life, and beliefs about the afterlife, which all have far-reaching effects on the practices at end of life. Understanding these experiences and viewpoints can further the ability of health care professionals to help those facing end-of-life situations.