A Practitioner's Guide to Culturally Sensitive Practice for Death and Dying
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The purpose of this manual is to educate health care professionals in all areas of practice regarding religious and cultural beliefs in reference to end of life issues. This information is imperative to the helping process, and when utilized, will allow practitioners to provide the best possible service to clients. The following information is to be used as a general guideline and should not be considered definitive with respect to an individual's personal, religious, or cultural beliefs and perceptions. This manual is a collaboration of materials collected with the purpose of assisting practitioners in facilitating culturally and religiously sensitive service at this extremely fragile time in the helping process. In many circumstances, a lack of awareness or information deters professional engagement in times of grief and loss. This disengagement may be misconstrued as a lack of compassion, when in fact, the practitioner may lack the knowledge and cultural understanding required to serve diverse populations. This resource manual has been designed to enhance the multicultural perspective to include the traditions and beliefs of varied religions, denominations, and institutions concerning death and dying as a valuable component of practice applicable to diverse settings and professions. We encourage health care professions to utilize this tool, and when in doubt, to consult with the client. It is vital to remember that diversity exists not only between religions, but also within.