http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/7242_1413030,00180007.htm Study to help Sikhs and Muslims 'die with dignity' Asian News International Washington, June 27, 2005 Researchers at the University of Edinburgh are conducting a new study to identify ways in which health professionals can better understand the needs of terminally ill Sikhs and Muslims and give them the opportunity to 'die with dignity'. According to the researchers, the study will help patients belonging to minority groups to have a 'good death' sensitive to their cultural and religious beliefs. "Why is it that a middle aged Muslim daughter insists on maintaining a day and night hospital vigil of her dying mother? Or why might Sikh patients with a terminal condition have such large numbers of friends and relatives visiting them during their final illness? The importance of these and other rites of passage need to be understood by caregivers," said Professor Aziz Sheikh, who will lead the project. The researchers will study patients, who are suffering from conditions such as terminal cancer, heart problem, and lung or kidney failure. Patients' family members will also be studied to record their evolving experiences. The patients will be recruited from GPs, hospices, hospitals and from Indian and Pakistani community centres. "The introduction of palliative care into health care is a relatively recent phenomenon, and even now these services are mainly focused on the needs of elderly people dying from cancer. However, migrant communities in Britain are typically younger and have proportionately higher death rates from diseases not related to cancer," said Sheikh. "No effective national provisions are in place for training of healthcare professionals in trans-cultural medicine, and few professionals will therefore have any real opportunity to learn about death rites in different cultures," he said. ======================================================================= COMMENTS FROM Soul_jyot: I have personally noticed that almost all the Christian Churchs' Ministers/ Volunteers visit their "flock" during their hospital stay on regular basis, offering then spirtual advice, support & prayers. However our Sikh Temples / Religious leaders / Community have have failed to set up such a "visting service" during this most difficult and challenging time !