Over the past century, the viewpoints of death have had a definite shift within society. This can be attributed to the shift in medical care from family settings to a more institutionalized setting. As a result, what used to be considered a natural part of life is now viewed as a failure in medical technology. Today, we tend to think as a society that the ideal death would be in our sleep without suffering. In contrast, the medieval era believed that death should be by noble cause, and it’s said that people of that time actually prayed to not die in their sleep. Understandably, the various viewpoints of “the good death” can make providing comfort for hospice patients a challenge.
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In addition to the various cultural differences in the perception of a good death, there also tends to be a difference among healthcare professionals, families, and patients.