Indian Cultural Case Study
Shanti’s story describes the death and dying process of a 63 year old Indian woman with breast cancer and metastasis. She had lived in the United States for 32 years and both her and her family still strictly followed their Hindu beliefs and traditions. Shanti knew she was ill but not her diagnosis or prognosis. She was in constant pain and suffered from anorexia, weight loss, and digestive problems. Her religious and cultural beliefs were that all that happened in this life was the result of her past life and that her next life would be determined by her actions in this life. To Shanti the pain she was suffering was given to her by the gods and relief from …show more content…
Education was also provided about medication options and alternative therapies for comfort. Before Shanti passed away she was only given the medication needed to keep a clear mind in order to pray and meditate. This was administered by her daughter who was her caretaker.
Knowledge Deficit Shanti’s decision not to know her diagnosis or prognosis created a knowledge deficit for both her and her family. Hospice staff was unable to prepare the patient for end of life as they would with most patients and they were not able to offer certain treatment options without revealing the diagnosis. The hospice nurses needed to allow the patient to make decisions regarding end of life care and educate the patient and family about needed care, options, services, and possible equipment needs. The hospice team was able to provide care and services as well as education to the family and patient without revealing her diagnosis.
Altered Nutrition: less than body requirements Shanti was anorexic and continuing to lose weight when hospice was consulted. The hospice nurses needed to assess the patient’s personal preferences for food as well as cultural and religious beliefs that affected diet. Education was provided to the patient and family about nutritional requirements and strategies to encourage eating and improve eating habits. The outcome was that the patient and family