Caring for the dying in a developing country, how prepared are we?

Med J Malaysia. 2016 Oct;71(5):259-263.


End of life care is framework to allow for a peaceful, comfortable and dignified death while considering the patients' personal and religious values, bioethics and knowledge of the disease process. A well planned end of life pathway should allow for the flexibility to shift from an active (or aggressive) treatment approach to one of comfort and care when initial interventions have failed. The need for this pathway is most apparent in the intensive care setting. Implementation of a pathway will face various challenges due to religious and cultural beliefs, education of healthcare providers to carry out difficult discussions and larger socioeconomic implications. Clear medico-legal framework will be required to support this pathway. In conclusion, an end of life pathway tailored to our local needs is the way forward in allowing for dignified death of terminally ill patients; this will require the active participation of medical societies, religious leaders, healthcare providers, patients and their care givers.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries*
  • Humans
  • Terminal Care* / ethics
  • Terminal Care* / legislation & jurisprudence