A "good death": perspectives of Muslim patients and health care providers

Ann Saudi Med. 2010 May-Jun;30(3):215-21. doi: 10.4103/0256-4947.62836.


Background and objectives: Twelve "good death" principles have been identified that apply to Westerners. This study aimed to review the TFHCOP good death perception to determine its validity for Muslim patients and health care providers, and to identify and describe other components of the Muslim good death perspective.

Subjects and methods: Participants included 284 Muslims of both genders with different nationalities and careers. We used a 12-question questionnaire based on the 12 principles of the TFHCOP good death definition, followed by face-to-face interviews. We used descriptive statistics to analyze questionnaire responses. However, for new themes, we used a grounded theory approach with a "constant comparisons" method.

Result: On average, each participant agreed on eight principles of the questionnaire. Dignity, privacy, spiritual and emotional support, access to hospice care, ability to issue advance directives, and to have time to say goodbye were the top priorities. Participants identified three main domains. The first domain was related to faith and belief. The second domain included some principles related to self-esteem and person's image to friends and family. The third domain was related to satisfaction about family security after the death of the patient. Professional role distinctions were more pronounced than were gender or nationality differences.

Conclusion: Several aspects of "good death," as perceived by Western communities, are not recognized as being important by many Muslim patients and health care providers. Furthermore, our study introduced three novel components of good death in Muslim society.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Advance Directives
  • Aged
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Death*
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Hospice Care
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Philosophy, Medical
  • Privacy
  • Qualitative Research
  • Right to Die
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Self Concept
  • Social Perception*
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult