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Dutch research into “dignity” in connection with end-of-life decisions

Dutch researchers from VUmc Amsterdam (and other Universities) report on some results from their extensive research into the concept of  “dignity” and the relationship with end-of-life decisions and advanced care planning. An instrument to measure factors that might influence was developed: see the original article in Journal of Palliative Medicine, Volume 14, number 5, 2011, 578-568.  (1)Other articles – both still in press – in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management (2) and the  International Journal of Nursing Studies (3) suggest:

“….that the understanding of dignity will not substantially change as health status changes. This would imply that the perceptions of factors influencing someone’s
sense of personal dignity can already be discussed when the patient is in good health or in an early stage of a disease. In light of advance care planning, this might contribute to
adequate patient-centered and dignity conserving care at the end of life.”




“Living life with dignity is as important as dying with dignity and could potentially diminish the desire to end life prematurely. This study presents an organizing framework for further research into the dignity of a more general patient group throughout the trajectory of illness.”

Interested in the articles??  They can be obtained from the first authors: (1):;  (2);  (3)