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Religious and Cultural Considerations

Cultural factors strongly influence patients' and families decisions at the end of life. [1] Consulting family and friends and caring for the deceased as an individual in a culturally sensitive way should be considered best practice.

No two cultural or religious groups are exactly the same, and there are often different factions or sectors that have their own requirements. If the family inform you about any religious or cultural needs it is important to communicate and document them. A care plan should be completed and be available to all staff. This can help the family as it means they won't need to tell all the different people involved. It also shows respect and helps to minimise stress.

Nurses need to be aware that any person may have preferences for care after death that may not relate to religious or cultural needs.


Guidelines / Documents / Factsheets

Related CareSearch Pages

Nurses Hub
Working with Families

PubMed Topic Search
Multicultural (Could be used to identify issues of relevance)


  1. Manalo MFC. End-of-life decisions about withholding or withdrawing therapy: Medical, ethical, and religio-cultural considerations. Palliat Care Res Treat. 2013 Mar 10;7:1-5.

Last updated 20 May 2014*