Refrain from proselytising to the dying

Although I agree with Mr Heng Cho Choon that spiritual care, if the patient is affiliated with a particular religion, is important for those close to death, we have to exercise caution and respect the patient's wishes (Spiritual care should be integral to palliative care; Jan 1).

Despite the best of intentions, we should not appear to proselytise a particular religion to patients during their most helpless moment and inadvertently put additional pressure on them.

In this respect, family members or healthcare professionals can interact with patients to find out their final wishes and their preferred arrangements.

We should refrain from assuming that spiritual care will definitely help all who are on palliative care or dying.

However, I agree on the importance of spiritual care as an integral part of palliative care for patients who are already affiliated to a religion or have expressed their wishes for a particular faith.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 03, 2018, with the headline 'Refrain from proselytising to the dying'. Print Edition | Subscribe