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Philosophy OfAmitabha Hospice Service
Hospice is not a place, a building, or an institution; but a collection of ideas and attitudes directing the care of the dying and the support of their families. Following the WHO guidelines for palliative care, Amitabha Hospice offers free practical home help and compassionate companionship from the time a person is diagnosed with a life-limiting illness or condition.
The general principles that apply to all hospice services are:
Hospice care affirms life. Meaning that the dying are still living and they have a right to a comfortable meaningful life. Through this principal medical services are established to provide relief from pain and other symptoms. The emphasis is on comfort and improving the quality of life not curing the disease.
Hospice recognises that dying is normal and that hospice care neither hastens nor postpones death. It does not advocate Euthanasia.
Hospice recognises that grief is a normal response to loss and support for those grieving continues as long as it is needed.
Hospice care should be given to all, without bias and with respect for each person’s choices, their traditions and their religious beliefs.
Hospice care is holistic. Meaning the physical, social, psychological, emotional and spiritual components of a person are important and treated with care according to need.
Our way of living comes from a spiritual foundation. This philosophy of life is the basis for our motivation to serve others through hospice work. It is not imposed on our work; it is the sourceof our work. Although our philosophy is Buddhist, other spiritual traditions also hold these same or similar principles:
Buddhists aspire to value all life and respect all human beings equally, regardless of religion, social preferences, race or wealth. With this all our patients and staff are offered free choices, autonomy and respect.
We believe that true caring comes from an attitude of loving kindness, directed to help relieve the suffering of others and to help them achieve happiness. The smallest acts performed with love bring greater happiness and success then those performed with indifference or out of a sense of duty. It’s not so much who you are or what you know but how you are that counts.
Based on the preciousness of human life and the infinite potential for personal development we believe healing can be more than physical and that personal growth and a high quality of life can be possible right up to and through the death process. We are committed to the empowerment of the patient their loved ones and the community as a whole.
True compassion arises from an understanding that suffering is a universal experience. This motivates us to give the best possible professional service to all regardless of their beliefs or affiliations. We strive to be open, non-judgemental and equitable to everyone, including staff, clients, and the larger community.
Knowing that living and dying are inseparable. We begin to die from the moment that we are born. Every moment of life is precious and potentially rich. Knowing this and believing in the dignity of the individual, our caregivers are trained to draw on their inner strengths of caring, gentleness and receptivity to foster an atmosphere of calm, sacred space where living and dying can be experienced intimately inseparable.
Understanding that individuals exist in a state of interconnectedness as part of a larger community. In this context we share responsibility for the well being of other members of our community. This is what motivates us to use our training and experience for hospice work and to collaborate and promote teamwork with individuals, and other agencies serving the elderly and those with incurable illness and their families.
Belief in the innate flawlessness of each individual This automatically provides commonality and connection while respecting the unique physical, emotional, spiritual and social dimensions of each person.
Striving to develop more wisdom and compassion through experience, reflection and meditation serves to continually renew our energy and interest in serving people according to their needs and choices.
Maintaining an inner discipline of morality based on a respect for cause and effect protects patients, families and staff from intentional harm and helps us become more aware of our actions and the outcomes.
Remembering the illusory and ephemeral nature of reality helps the hospice worker to ‘let go’ of sadness, frustration and the difficulties of our work.
A story to illustrate our philosophy:
"Good evening, friend, What are you
"Made a difference to that one!"
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