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Code Krishna: an innovative practice respecting death, dying and beyond

Bhalendu Vaishnav, Somashekhar Nimbalkar, Sandeep Desai, Smruti Vaishnav

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2017.059


In moments of grief, human beings seek solace and attempt to discover the meaning of life and death by reaching out to wider and deeper dimensions of existence that stem from their religious, cultural and spiritual beliefs. Conventional patient care fails to consider this vital aspect of our lives. Many hold the view that life and its experiences do not end with death; the body is but a sheath which holds the soul that inhabits it. The use of a protocol-based practice to create a solemn atmosphere around the departed individual can bridge the gap between the materialistic and non-materialistic perceptions of the dimensions of care. The innovative practice, “Code Krishna”, is aimed at institutionalising a practice which sensitises and empowers the treating team to address the grief of the relatives of deceased patients, and respect the departed in consonance with the family’s cultural, religious and spiritual beliefs. The practice entails the creation of a solemn atmosphere amidst the action-packed environment of the critical care unit at the time of the patient’s death, offering of collective prayer and floral tributes, and observation of silence both by the healthcare team and family members. Code Krishna attempts to blend current care practices with spirituality, ensuring that the treating team is the first to commiserate with the grieving family, with warmth and openness. In this piece, we briefly report our first-hand experiences of practising Code Krishna in our hospital [Shree Krishna Hospital, Karamsad, Central Gujarat]

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