2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/304378
Category:
Abstract
Type:
Presentation
Title:
Close to the Bone: Social Constructions of Suffering and Dying
Author(s):
Bruce, Anne
Lead Author STTI Affiliation:
Non-member
Author Details:
Anne Bruce, PhD, RN, abruce@uvic.ca
Abstract:

Session presented on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Purpose: The social construction of suffering and dying are important concepts for understanding how health professionals determine what constitutes a good death. Such constructions can cut close to the bone and may support some patients and families while constraining those living outside of dominant social narratives. In this paper, Vajrayana Buddhist constructions of suffering and death are examined with a focus on the intersectionality of self, suffering, and non-attachment that challenge similar notions within current palliative care discourses.

Methods: A case study approach is used where palliative care nurses were concerned that a patient’s Buddhist beliefs were a significant factor in what they saw as inadequate pain management. In their opinion, the patient’s beliefs were responsible for her declining pain medication until she was in agony. 

Results: Discursive practices of what constitutes self (who dies?), suffering, impermanence, karma, and rebirth shape the relationship between palliative care practitioners and taken-for-granted notions of the aim of a peaceful death. Broadening understandings of a good death and taken-for-granted assumptions are needed in order to serve Buddhist patients and family at the end of life. At the same time, alternative constructions of what supports a good death also raise important questions and tensions when these understandings seem incompatible.

Conclusion: Contrasting social constructions of Canadian palliative care with Vajrayana Buddhist views sheds light on key questions faced by palliative care nurses: What are the limits of patient-centered care in the face of treatable suffering? At what point is the choice to suffer truly a patient’s choice? How do taken-for-granted assumptions of suffering and dying from any perspective hinder nurses’ capacity to serve? In this paper the socially constructed nature of suffering and dying are examined with an aspiration toward broader understanding of social and organizational processes shaping end-of-life care within pluralistic societies.

Keywords:
Palliative care nursing; Buddhism
Repository Posting Date:
22-Oct-2013
Date of Publication:
22-Oct-2013
Conference Date:
2013
Conference Name:
24th International Nursing Research Congress
Conference Host:
Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing
Conference Location:
Prague, Czech Republic
Description:
24th International Nursing Research Congress Theme: Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration. Held at the Hilton Prague Hotel.
Note:
This is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen_GB
dc.type.categoryAbstracten_GB
dc.typePresentationen_GB
dc.titleClose to the Bone: Social Constructions of Suffering and Dyingen_GB
dc.contributor.authorBruce, Anneen_GB
dc.contributor.departmentNon-memberen_GB
dc.author.detailsAnne Bruce, PhD, RN, abruce@uvic.caen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/304378-
dc.description.abstract<p>Session presented on: Tuesday, July 23, 2013</p><p><b>Purpose: </b>The social construction of suffering and dying are important concepts for understanding how health professionals determine what constitutes a good death. Such constructions can cut close to the bone and may support some patients and families while constraining those living outside of dominant social narratives. In this paper, Vajrayana Buddhist constructions of suffering and death are examined with a focus on the intersectionality of self, suffering, and non-attachment that challenge similar notions within current palliative care discourses. <p><b>Methods: </b>A case study approach is used where palliative care nurses were concerned that a patient’s Buddhist beliefs were a significant factor in what they saw as inadequate pain management. In their opinion, the patient’s beliefs were responsible for her declining pain medication until she was in agony.  <p><b>Results: </b> Discursive practices of what constitutes self (who dies?), suffering, impermanence, karma, and rebirth shape the relationship between palliative care practitioners and taken-for-granted notions of the aim of a peaceful death. Broadening understandings of a good death and taken-for-granted assumptions are needed in order to serve Buddhist patients and family at the end of life. At the same time, alternative constructions of what supports a good death also raise important questions and tensions when these understandings seem incompatible. <p><b>Conclusion: </b>Contrasting social constructions of Canadian palliative care with Vajrayana Buddhist views sheds light on key questions faced by palliative care nurses: What are the limits of patient-centered care in the face of treatable suffering? At what point is the choice to suffer truly a patient’s choice? How do taken-for-granted assumptions of suffering and dying from any perspective hinder nurses’ capacity to serve? In this paper the socially constructed nature of suffering and dying are examined with an aspiration toward broader understanding of social and organizational processes shaping end-of-life care within pluralistic societies.en_GB
dc.subjectPalliative care nursingen_GB
dc.subjectBuddhismen_GB
dc.date.available2013-10-22T20:34:40Z-
dc.date.issued2013-10-22-
dc.date.accessioned2013-10-22T20:34:40Z-
dc.conference.date2013en_GB
dc.conference.name24th International Nursing Research Congressen_GB
dc.conference.hostSigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursingen_GB
dc.conference.locationPrague, Czech Republicen_GB
dc.description24th International Nursing Research Congress Theme: Bridge the Gap Between Research and Practice Through Collaboration. Held at the Hilton Prague Hotel.en_GB
dc.description.noteThis is an abstract-only submission. If the author has submitted a full-text item based on this abstract, you may find it by browsing the Virginia Henderson Global Nursing e-Repository by author. If author contact information is available in this abstract, please feel free to contact him or her with your queries regarding this submission.en_GB
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