Sarah is an 80-year-old woman who is a first-generation American.

Amish case study

Jewish Case study #1

Selecting a “typical” Jewish client is difficult. An ultra-Orthodox Jew has a particular set  of special needs. Yet, it is more common  to see a Jew who is a middle-of-the-road Conservative.
Sarah is an 80-year-old woman who is a first-generation American. She was  raised in a traditional Conservative home. Her husband died after 50 years of a strong  marriage. She has three children. Although her home is not kosher, she practices a variation of kosher-style eating, avoiding pork and not making dishes that combine meat and milk.
Two months ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Surgery was attempted, but the cancer was already in an advanced stage. Chemotherapy was started, but the cancer has progressed and is not responding to the medications. She is having difficulty eating because of the pressure of the tumor on the gastrointestinal tract.
Discussions are being held to determine whether or not treatments should be stopped  and whether hospice care should be initiated. Her hospital room is always filled with visitors.

Study Questions

  1. What must you anticipate in discussing with Sarah her wishes regarding the continuation of medical care?
    2.  How would you respond to her initial decision to have surgery and initiate chemotherapy?
    3.  What questions do you need to ask in the initial patient interview to assess her degree of religious practice? How will you determine her spirituality needs?
    4.  What is your understanding of the reason she has so many visitors in her room?
    5. Is hospice care appropriate for this patient?
    6. Sarah dies with her family at her bedside. What interventions can you take at the time of death to demonstrate religious sensitivity to the family? What questions do you need to ask the family?
    7.    Describe three genetic or hereditary diseases common with Ashkenazi Jews.
    8.    Describe Jewish burial rituals and grieving process.
    9.    Discuss the laws of Kashrut in regard to food practices for observant Jewish clients.
    10. What should the health-care provider keep in mind when entering a Jewish home to
    provide care?
    11.   Distinguish between the terms Sephardic and Ashkenazi
    12.   How might a non-Jewish and a Jewish coworker share holidays in the workforce?
    13.   What is the official language the Jewish people use for prayer?
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