In historically Christian majority countries, palliative care has been shaped by Christianity, particularly around notions of an afterlife and the idea that people “go to a better place” when they die. As these societies become more religiously diverse and more nonreligious, however, how does this shift palliative care? What kind of care do nonreligious people want at the end of life? Palliative care workers themselves report that they want more guidance about how to care for patients of different religious backgrounds, and none, in increasingly diverse societies.
Our study hopes to push back against presumptions that all people at the end of life want or need some kind of “spiritual” care. With this in mind, we want to think more broadly about what a “good death” means and what it looks like in practice.