As part of our work on an Expert Panel on End-of-Life Care in the American Academy of Nursing, the authors of this column sought to articulate core nursing principles and concerns about end-of-life care. Attending to death as a human passage was central to these deliberations.

Sally A. Kerchner provides a narrative about end-of-life care that illustrates that meeting the patient and family and understanding their world is essential to attending to the difficulties that humans experience when facing death. A narrative is useful because each person and family has their own storied approach and understanding of death, and death is most often understood narratively. The particularity of the person/family story is central to honoring death as a human passage. One narrative about dying and end-of-life care can remind the reader of other stories that illuminate other human concerns....

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