Health Care Practitioners and Dying Patients: Challenges in a Secular Society

Pentaris, Panagiotis. 2013. Health Care Practitioners and Dying Patients: Challenges in a Secular Society. Journal of Education, Culture and Society, 4(1), pp. 38-47. ISSN 2081-1640 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

A full understanding of and a competent approach to dying patients may lead to a more qu- alitative service delivery, an enhanced quality of life paradigms, and the patients’ well-being, all of which remain the ultimate goal of health care practice. The modern world has developed in parallel with secularism and religious diversity. This paper aims to illustrate the secularization process in Britain (with indications of generalized meanings) and juxtaposes it with a descrip- tion of the needs of dying patients regarding the meanings of religion and non-religion. Although this paper draws on and provides a review of selected theoretical literature, it also addres- ses a signifi cant challenge: the lack of scientific research on the subject. Hence, this paper aims to give an overview of the issues, but not synthesise them. The arguments that are elaborated in the paper are also supported by the author’s current research project in the city of London.

The approach here is client oriented, and concerns social and health care. Practitioners ought to become competent, and maintain their competence throughout their professional career. Religious competence seems to have not been at the centre of discussions, regardless of the historical pathway that religious discourse has drawn since the beginnings of huma- nity. The paper concludes with certain suggestions for future research and inclusive appro- aches regarding religious matters.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


secularization, thanatology, religion, UK, health care practice, dying patient

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Faiths and Civil Society



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

24 Feb 2015 13:23

Last Modified:

06 Oct 2022 08:35

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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