This is simply defined as the all inclusive care provided to persons who are in a dying phase as a result of some form of active or progressive disease or related conditions after disease modifying or curative treatment has failed (Ministry of Health, 2014). As such, given that all human societies have some form of cultural responsibility towards a dying person, palliative care has to include related cultural inputs towards improving end of life stage living standards. This is not only important for the patient so as to ensure a respectable quality of death but also for such an individual’s family members. On the same note, the religious beliefs of a dying individual are quite important towards improving his or her quality of life during an end of life stage. This is similarly of great importance to the family of such an individual.
Palliative care thus not only involves the professional work of health care providers but also compels such health practitioners to involve the advice of cultural and religious leaders towards an improved quality of life of a dying person (Rishworth, 2015). All in all, legal issues tend to rise above cultural and religious influences with regard to palliative care provision. New Zealand’s Health Ministry has sought to create strategies creating legal framework offering guidelines as to the manner with which a dying person can have a respectable quality of life as well as good quality of death. This booklet seeks to present an analysis on how religious, cultural and legal issues have influence palliative care provision in New Zealand.
In New Zealand, palliative care is regarded as a means to respect every citizen’s life and more so, accept that death is simply a common end to life (Sainsbury, 2013). It is important to note that palliative care is not a means for seeking to delay or quicken one’s death but rather offer the most appropriate relief associated with living in an end of life phase. As such, comprehensive palliative health care provision involves addressing the physical, emotional, social and spiritual care needs for a dying person and his or her family (Sainsbury, 2013). This is done so as to enable the entire family including the dying individual to experience a decent quality of life (Barback, 2014). More so, it is aimed at enabling the dying person’s family to properly cope with the aspect of losing a loved one to death and as such help them in the period of bereavement.
New Zealand laws define palliative care as the comprehensive care given to all persons regardless of age suffering from life ending illnesses and conditions. This implies that palliative care is offered to newborn babies as well as the very old members of society (Barback, 2014). New Zealand laws prescribe end of life care services to such individuals with an effort t