Culturally competent care at the end of life : a Hindu perspective

Sujatha Shanmugasundaram, Margaret O'Connor, Ken Sellick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Knowledge of particular cultural requirements is especially important in times of transition such as at the end of life, where issues of death and dying require great sensitivity to cultural and religious differences. Healthcare professionals need to understand different cultures and deliver care accordingly. This article explores the cultural aspects of end of life care among Hindus who live in places other than India and is based on a study of Hindus in Australia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the experience of families of terminally ill Indian patients. This article will explore aspects of the Hindu faith and their implications of nurses, specifically in the context of end of life care. It will outline the rituals and ceremonies that help a Hindu have a good death and which have meaning for families and friends. It is acknowledged that care settings may not be able to cater all the practices discussed. However, it is hoped that greater understanding of the Hindu philosophy will encourage nurses to facilitate a more sympathetic environment for a dying person and their family at the end of life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalEnd of life care journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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