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Category: US History

Date Submitted: 08/25/2011 11:26 PM

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Hispanics with origins from Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean

compromise a significant fraction of the American population and as of 2003 have become the

largest minority in the United States. With increasingly diversity in the United States, it is hardly

profound to state that culture influences how a person’s reaction on death and means of

memorializing death(Oliver, 2004, p. 235).

The patient is an 80 year old Hispanic female who is an immigrant from El-

Salvador and a Roman Catholic. Therefore many cultural differences and believe existed

between the health care providers and the patient’s needs. According to Sonia. A. Duffy et al.

many Hispanic woman prefers to die with dignity and good care. They are also against feeding

tubes, want extensive medical intervention, against “pulling the plug” and are in favor of

alternative medicine. In addition to that, the major themes for Hispanic patients who are

terminally ill are family involvement and religion. Relatives participate in physical and spiritual

care. It is not uncommon for family members to come from other locales to provide care and stay

at the patient’s bedside. Also, family members are incorporated in making decision regarding

patient care. Sometimes family members are reluctant to discuss death to patient and may not

want nurses or doctor’s to discuss matters to patients. This is opposite to the American culture

where the patient is given autonomy in choosing the kind of care he or she needs. Since religion

also plays an important part, prayers and rituals are integral part of the dying process. Example

include, pictures of saints are found near the patient. Each saint has a specialized as well as

general, religious function: St.Peregrine with cancer, St.Joseph with dying and Our Lady of

Lourdes with bodily ills (Kemp, 2007,p.31).

When comparing the patient to the normal Hispanic culture view...