Many dying patients express the need for meaning—in life and in death. In palliative care, our primary goal is to facilitate comfort and maximize quality of life. We often employ interventions that emphasize the importance of meaning-making. Unfortunately, these interventions seem to be overly individualistic and westernized, overlooking important aspects of intersectionality and cultural variations.
We spend a lot of time talking about quality of life, but, increasingly, people around the world are talking about quality of death. Facing the end of life is hard for everyone involved, and many worry about the pain and loss of dignity associated with dying. In some areas of the world, individuals may choose legalized medical aid in dying, allowing them to control the time and place of their own death.