Departments within hospitals, HMOs and other health care institutions that provide for the spiritual care of patients with severe, chronic or terminal conditions, their families and staff, regardless of their religious traditions. Pastoral care workers work cooperatively with the health care team; listen, elicit and respond to individual religious/spiritual needs; identify and clarify ethical issues related to end-of-life treatment and care; provide bereavement support for family members, significant others and professional staff; and ensure that treatment addresses the whole person, not just his or her medical needs. The service is provided by licensed clergy or trained, accredited spiritual care volunteers.
Programs that investigate and establish the cause of death in prescribed situations; help people dispose of the personal property of a family member or friend who has died; or provide funeral services and/or arrange for the shipping, interment, entombment, scattering or release of the remains of a person who has died.
Organizations or programs which focus on the topic of death and/or the process of dying and which may provide information about death and dying from different historical, philosophical, spiritual, religious, medical or mental health perspectives through classes, workshops, speakers, printed materials, or other modalities which may assist interested people to develop their own way of viewing and dealing with these experiences.
Mutual support groups whose members are people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; and focus on helping participants accept their loss, express their grief, move through the bereavement process and put their lives back together.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.