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Keywords

good death, concept exploration.

 

Authors

  1. Kring, Daria L. MSN, RN, BC

Abstract

For many patients with a life-threatening illness, modern hospitals prevent a good death. When aggressive treatment is selected for a disease process with a remote cure, nurses engage in patient care that is psychologically exhausting and ethically demoralizing. Nursing is well positioned to lead a paradigm shift regarding end-of-life care. The concept of good death is explored through sociology, Christian theology, medicine, and nursing. Of the many determinants for a good death, the ones that transcend the disciplines include making adequate preparations, experiencing no unpleasant symptoms, having someone by one's side, and being spiritually whole. Empirical indicators for measuring a good death are also explored.