2006, p.1). In Anglo culture, extremities of grief may be reserved for close family members, while in cultures where extended family is important, intense grief may be acceptable and expected, even for distant family members There is also greater acceptance of death in the Latino culture as a whole, as manifest in the almost festive 'Day of the Dead' rituals in that nation, in which children often participate, and the strong Catholic belief in the connection between the earthly world and the life to come. In Japan, "Buddhist belief uses death as an opportunity for improvement in the next life. To enter death in a positive state of mind and surrounded by monks and family helps the deceased to become reborn on a higher level" (Lobar et al. 2006, p.2).
The process of end-of-life care is also heavily impacted by culture. In some cultures, such as in Asian and Hispanic culture, children of aging parents may "believe it is detrimental to patients to let them know about the seriousness of the illness in order to spare them unnecessary pain and that it is the health care system, especially regarding advanced directives and end-of-life care, and both Mexican-Americans and African-Americans verbalize a preference for decision-making as a family" (Lobar et al. 2006, p.1). While a healthcare provider is still entitled to give advice regarding how best to care for someone who is seriously ill, he or she must respect the family structure and decision-making approach when giving advice, and have an awareness of when resistance to certain kinds of treatments or interventions is based in cultural norms. Although death is universal, there is no universally accepted attitude to grief and death, and it is not the place of the healthcare provider to use the death of a loved one as a time for advocacy or a teachable moment, unless an ailing patient's care will be compromised.
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Leading causes of death. (2010). Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Retrieved March 12, 2010
Lobar, Sandra L. JoAnne M. Youngblut, Dorothy Brooten. (2006, January-February). Cross-
cultural beliefs, ceremonies, and rituals surrounding death of a loved one.
Pediatric Nursing, 32(1):44-50. Retrieved from FindArticles.com on March 12, 2010 at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FSZ/is_1_32/ai_n17211991/
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