Box 1.
  • Christians believe in the resurrection of the dead and everlasting communion with God and that a good death is part of this process

  • Clinicians should recognise that the cluster of traditions and denominations making up the Christian faith have some theologically grounded variations that may influence end-of-life decisions

  • Christians believe that life is a sacred gift from God and as such do not allow assisted suicide or euthanasia

  • Both Roman Catholics and Protestants who are dying may wish to be visited by a person from their church. Roman Catholics may wish to receive the Sacrament of the Sick with anointing (Last rites)

  • Christians recognise the medical benefits of organ donation (although for many, this should only follow full cardiorespiratory death not merely brainstem death) and do not regard their beliefs as being in opposition to post-mortem

  • Funerals themselves vary between the different churches and traditions; they typically involve readings from scripture, hymns and eulogies. They are, religiously speaking, celebrations of a person’s life, with thankfulness for the person’s faith and membership of God’s family