Spiritual aspects of Advance Care Planning
This chapter describes linking spirituality and Advanced Care Planning (ACP); fear and ACP; how thinking about death changes people; religious views of ACP; denial and ACP; personal control and ACP; the spiritual work of ACP; adaptation and ACP; and ritual, sacrament, and ACP. The discussion holds that dying is not primarily a medical event. The process of thinking about end of life issues can significantly impact on an individual's attitudes, values, and belief systems. Dying patients can challenge the cultural illusion that life is going to last forever. This can be hard for families and professionals to accept and challenges their own fears around mortality. The importance and wisdom of religious rituals and religious symbolism cannot be ignored even in the most secular of contexts as they bring comfort to many.
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