Death can awaken us to the ways we, as individuals and as a culture, create meaning. The health humanities gives practitioners a context in which to locate or rediscover meaning and deepens our capacity to approach end-of-life issues with dying persons and their families with alertness and sensitivity to individual and cultural dynamics. It offers clinicians opportunities for reckoning with guilt and feelings of failure that can accompany the unpreventable losses and for honoring and grieving the dead. Reckoning with historical and current racial and caste inequities in life expectancy can move clinicians to work for change.

This essay may be found on page 51 of the printed volume.

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