The researchers found that all patients agreed to meet the chaplain; the mean time of the consultation was 23 minutes. In association with these meetings, 80 percent of patients completed an AD or provided documentation of an existing AD for their medical record. The topics discussed with the chaplain included current life circumstances, family members and support system, experience with critical illness and end of life decisions, palliative care and hospice, and the role of faith in their lives and influence of belief on health care decision making.
Dignity is one’s sense of self-respect and of feeling worthy of respect. While dignity ultimately resides within us, it is also communicated by others—our self-respect is supported by others who treat us with dignity. Hope allows us to have optimism for the future, focus our energies in areas that we can positively impact, recover from setbacks and set goals for our lives.