End-of-Life Care

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Culture Specific and Culture Sensitive End-of-Life Care - A Case Study Based on Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan, Banaras

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End-of-Life Care

  1. 1. Culture Specific and Culture Sensitive End-of-Life Care A Case Study Based on Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan, Banaras by Dr. Umesh K. Singh Lecturer, Dept. of Sociology V.S.S.D. College, Kanpur umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  2. 2. Culture shapes the belief system  The fears, hopes, and orientations people  have towards “Death” are not instinctive, but rather are learned from cultural symbols umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  3. 3. Death is not simply end of life in biological  sense. It is only a stage in the larger cycle of procreation – regeneration The ultimate goal of human being is to attain  mukti or moksha Along with good deeds, there are sacred  rituals and sacred spaces which too can contribute to liberation umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  4. 4. Kashi: antiquity, religious symbol and sacred  space mukti dayani/moksha dayani Kashi  Age old association of Kashi with old age and  dying and death umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  5. 5. To illustrate the cultural distinctiveness of death and end-of-life care: exploration of the role of Kashi Labh Mukti  Bhawan — nature of services and facilities available kinds of inmates availing the services — their  life-situation and life-values fulfillment of religious and psychosocial  needs and satisfaction received umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  6. 6. a distinctive organization, established in 1958  old aged people are brought at the very fag  end of their life to attain the religious benefits of dying in Kashi caters mostly to the lower middle class and  lower class old aged persons belonging mostly to the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh and adjoining areas of Bihar umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  7. 7. varied socio-economic background and  personal history on the verge of death because of their  sickness or simply because of becoming very old brought by their family and close relatives  heterogeneous categories of  inmates, however, sharing the same destiny umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  8. 8. the physical facilities available to the dying old  person in the room are minimum  it is the close relatives attending him who control the dying person  life-values and behaviour pattern: he is left with very hazy notion of these and he can neither articulate nor perform any of these  the attendants often remind him of remembering the names of gods/goddesses or help him in performing some basic pre-death rituals umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  9. 9. common ideology of death and dying in Kashi  most of the inmates of are there because of  their personal wish or else their family thought it better to take the dying one to Kashi and to perform the cremation here the family also wishes to facilitate salvation  of the departed soul by availing death in Kashi umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  10. 10. The Hindu society does not leave the dead  person all alone but by observing many death sacraments such as pinda-dan, shraddh, etc. to the deceased person leads to formation of close bonds between the dead and the descendents. Institutions like Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan uphold these religious and cultural traditions. umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  11. 11. The individual accepts the inevitability of death and in spite  of all the trauma and pains of preceding death, gets ready for a newer existence/life. The family accepts the passing away of the old aged and  facilitates the process by keeping the dying persons in Kashi Labh Mukti Bhawan accompanying all the pre-death and post-death rituals and ceremonies. The religious symbols on the one hand lessen the grief of the  family members and on the other hand it facilitates the salvation of the dead one. This cultural specificity relating to death is deeply ingrained  in Hindu psyche and differentiates it from other cultural systems of the world. umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  12. 12. umeshka@gmail.com | umesh.singh@live.in | Blog: sociocrat.blogspot.com
  13. 13. . . . Thanks !

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