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  1. Smith-Stoner, Marilyn RN, PhD, CHPN


Hospice and palliative care standards guide nurses to develop individualized plans of care for every patient and family. A religious assessment and integration of rituals and activities related to death preparation are important parts of the hospice plan of care. This article describes a specific death preparation ritual, phowa, practiced by Vajrayana Buddhists. Knowledge of specific death preparation prayers and rituals provides the hospice clinical staff with additional insight to help Buddhists transcend the death experience and realize the ultimate goal of being reborn in a Pure Land, free from the cycle of death and rebirth. Professional standards and guidelines for spiritual and religious assessment requirements are presented.