Promoting a good death for cancer patients of Asian culture

An evidence-based approach

Mui Hing June Mak

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ISBN: 978-1-861771-16-2
Categories: Counselling, Cultural Studies, Health Services, Human Services, Social Policy
Published: May 2010
234 x 156 x 18 mm
344 pages
Publisher: Whiting & Birch Ltd
Also available in: Hardback
There are few enough studies of the needs of dying people in the Western world, but no accessible studies of the needs of dying people in Asian cultures. Now, in this pioneering work, Dr Mui Hing June Mak shows us how a Good Death expresses itself in Hong Kong, and also how this ideal varies and is modified in other Asian societies as this is observed in their own, often inaccessible literature.

The author offers a comprehensive review of the literature on dying conduct and needs from several Asian perspectives, and also provides a perceptive analysis of the lessons to be learnt from her qualitative study which employed a ‘Grounded Theory’ methodology to understand the experiences and end-of-life needs of cancer patients in hospice care in Hong Kong. A relation-based theory, Harmonious Death, is developed. She also makes several suggestions to translate these theoretical concepts into practice.

Dr Mak brings to her words not only the disciplined eye of a hospice clinician and academic but also a compassionate insight derived from her direct personal experiences. Close, personal relationship with three dying people were formative of her current research and professional interests, and also the driving concern in ensuring that the voices of all the participants in her study are heard clearly, sympathetically, and poignantly.

Audience: The book will be of interest to teachers, students and professionals across the whole range of health and social care and social work, particularly those in palliative or hospice settings, as well as well as those with an interest in behavioural and social sciences, anthropology, philosophy, thanatology, not to mention the humanities.
  • Foreword by Professor Allan Kellehear
  • Literature review
  • Western and Chinese perspectives on death and dying
  • The research study
  • Elements of a Good Death in Chinese culture: awareness of death; maintaining hope; freedom from pain and suffering; maintaining social relations; experiencing personal control; preparation and bidding farewell; accepting the timing of one’s death A Harmonious Death, The Good Death models
  • Conclusions and recommendations for hospice philosophy, education, research and health policy.
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