EXCURSION INTO THE ISSUE OF FINALITY OF LIFE ACROSS CULTURES
References: 3rd International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2016, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2016 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-71-1 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 31 August, 2016, Book 1 Vol. 2, 507-514pp, DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/B12/S02.065
Background: As a result of globalization and the current European migration crisis, the borders between individual states gradually become only imaginary lines on the map. That spontaneous uncontrolled process has put transcultural nursing into the foreground, particularly in recent years, as the care recipients involve more and more frequently persons with different religions, needing a culturally competent care. The questions of finality of life become a natural, but tabooed issue; they are researched by thanatology, an interdisciplinary science originated in the USA. This manuscript aims at presenting partial results of a study mapping the use of conceptual models in clinical and community practice, as well as at creating an insight in the issue of finality of life across cultures, specifically Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and atheists.
Methods: The study was implemented under financial help of the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice within a team grant project called "Use of conceptual models in clinical and community practice", No. 048/2015/S. The study was implemented by qualitative method, involving 10 respondents from each minority, with the help of semi-structured interviews. The research set consisted of members of the selected religious minorities, specifically Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and atheists. The data collection was implemented from May to July 2015.
Results: Although the presented groups consider dying and death a natural part of human life, they perceive the issues of finality of life as a tabooed issue that should remain hidden. The reconciliation with own mortality, which directly depends on the philosophical aspects of the individual minorities, constitutes a precondition for acceptance of the death as such, which the respondents are aware of. While the atheists consider earthly life the only existence to which they attach some importance, the religious minorities believe that an adequate way of spiritual life will bring them eternal life. When considering the last things of their lives, the respondents would wish respect towards their singularity; however, at the same time they agree that if basic human rights are observed, they do not strictly require the other particularities.
Conclusion: The analysis of the issue of finality of life across cultures has revealed both homogeneous characteristics and particularities of selected minority groups, which are significantly involved in the attitudes to dying, death and funeral rites. It must be noted in conclusion that the findings are partial results that cannot be generalized over all representatives of the presented minority groups.
Key words: finality of life, dying, death, funeral, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, atheism
PAPER DOI: 10.5593/SGEMSOCIAL2016/B12/S02.065 ; EXCURSION INTO THE ISSUE OF FINALITY OF LIFE ACROSS CULTURES
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