At end of life, because awareness is important to a Buddhist any treatment options should be discussed carefully with a patient so that they may receive appropriate care and medication for them in order to remain aware, giving accurate and honest diagnosis and prognosis is important too.
It will be important for the environment to feel peaceful and serene without any special medical treatment by staff and perhaps to have a teacher or member of the Buddhist community by their side at their last moments. It may also be requested that their body be undisturbed for several hours following their death, often four hours is minimum.
It is often requested that no autopsy or other examinations occur for a minimum of three and a half days and that if possible the body should not be embalmed. During these three and a half days it is believed that the soul is in a trance or sleeping state unaware of death and can still hear the living, and so monks are called upon to chant over the body to help guide the deceased towards the brilliant light that will appear to them and not to run from it, so as to avoid reincarnation.
The time period between death and burial or cremation advise that the body should be left undistrubed.
If the deceased was an active Buddhist, it should be easy to contact a member of the community to arrange a teacher or monk to lead the funeral service. In following the Buddha’s example, most Buddhists will follow the Indian tradition of cremation.