Ethical Death Care

By: Ashely Newton
Friday, January 3, 2020

What does it mean to provide ethical death care? To be ethical means to uphold a certain moral code. What that moral code may be can vary greatly between different groups. In general, there are three branches of ethics: consequentialism, which focuses on the consequences of actions, deontology, which concerns itself with whether or not an action is right in and of itself (regardless of consequences), and virtue ethics, which concerns itself with a person’s state of being. 

 

Death care encompasses a wide range of services related to death - funerals, cremations, burials, and more. Ethical death care, then, is death care that is conducted with moral codes in mind and in action. You might have an ethical cremation or an ethical funeral. 

 

Because what is considered ethical can differ between individuals, honesty and integrity are two fundamental principles of ethics we can all draw from. When you’re not being honest about your intentions or someone is not being honest with you, it’s impossible to know whether or not certain actions are appropriate. A frank discussion about intent must occur and this is especially true in death care. Ethical death care always holds honest intent and is straight-forward. It has integrity.

 

Simply stating that things are being done with integrity is insufficient. The death of a loved one is a trying time for most people and a mix of emotions is not uncommon. Emotions may lead us to personal truths or make us feel even more lost. This means that intent isn’t always clear -  not because a person is being dishonest - but because the time after a death can be confusing and trying. Working with integrity means honouring all these different emotions and helping in all ways possible to support the person who is grieving. What it does not mean is pushing a person to make a decision they’re not ready to make or are unsure of. A brief dip into virtue ethics does us well here: patience is a virtue. When grieving, be patient with yourself and expect death care professionals to be patient as well. Never feel obligated to rush into any decisions.

 

The voyage through life is truly awe-inspiring; every person’s perspective is different. The truth lies somewhere in between how we all see the world. Ethical death care is patient. It is kind. It is empathic. It honours what is important to you and takes the time to make sure your wishes and the wishes of your loved one are respected. It is transparent, honest, and hard-working. It is compassionate. It has integrity. For ethical death care in Winnipeg, ethical Interlake cremation, or an ethical funeral anywhere in the area, get in touch with us.

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