Culture is a critical component of what shapes human experience throughout life. Unfortunately, at the end of life cultural considerations often take a back seat to considerations related to disease processes and functional ability. This article describes why culture is so vital at all stages of life. It also attempts to provide insight into how death, dying, grief, and loss are viewed from a cross-cultural perspective with a focus on African Americans. It presents practice implications for health care professionals.
Assistant Director and Associate Professor, Center for Social Work Education, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania