Understanding Nurse And Patient Perceptions Of A ‘Good Death’

Miranda Paddy

  • Abstract

    The generally accepted principles of a good death among Western health and social care professionals include that the patient is: pain and symptom free; treated as an individual and with dignity and respect; involved in decision-making; prepared for and accepts the imminence of death; surrounded by loved ones in familiar surroundings and has completed unfinished business. However, patients may have different perceptions than healthcare professionals about what constitutes a good death. It is important, therefore, that nurses have a broad understanding of the individual wishes of patients regarding death and dying so they do not impose their own views relating to how a patient should die. Nurses need to provide individualised care, which best meets the needs of the patient and family, and facilitate individual people’s wishes at the end of life. This article will present literature associated with the perceptions of nurses and patients concerning a good death. It will explore the characteristics of both good and bad deaths and discuss implications for nursing practice in all care settings. Conflicts of interest: none

  • Contributors

    Miranda Paddy


    Correct at article publish date

    Miranda Paddy is Staff Nurse, Nuffield Ward, St Christopher’s Hospice, London. Email:>m.paddy@stchristophers.org.uk

    Original publishing information

    • Publisher: St Christopher's Hospice
    • Publish date: 01/01/2011
    • Volume: 1
    • Issue: 2

    Permissions: © 2015, Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions2015

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