Supporting Muslim Patients During Advanced Illness.
Religion is an important part of many patients' cultural perspectives and value systems that influence them during advanced illness and toward the end of life when they directly face mortality. Worldwide violence perpetrated by people identifying as Muslim has been a growing fear for people living in the US and elsewhere. This fear has further increased by the tense rhetoric heard from the recent US presidential campaign and the new presidential administration. For many, this includes fear of all Muslims, the second-largest religious group in the world with 1.6 billion adherents and approximately 3.5 million in the US alone. Patient-centered care requires health professionals to look past news headlines and unchecked social media so they can deliver high-quality care to all patients. This article explores areas of importance in the context of advanced illness for practitioners of Islam. These include the conditions needed for prayer, the roles of medical treatment and religious authority, the importance of modesty, the religious concordance of clinicians, the role of family in medical decision making, advance care planning, and pain and symptom management. Initial recommendations to optimize care for Muslim patients and their families, informed by the described tenets of Muslim faith, are provided for clinicians and health systems administrators. These include Islamic cultural awareness training for staff, assessment of patients and families to determine needs, health education and decision-making outreach, and community health partnerships with local Islamic institutions.
Boucher, NA; Siddiqui, EA; Koenig, HG
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