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Life to be LivedChallenges and choices for patients and carers in life-threatening illnesses$
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Catherine Proot and Michael Yorke

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685011

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685011.001.0001

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Chaplaincy and spiritual care

Chaplaincy and spiritual care

(p.106) Chapter 12 Chaplaincy and spiritual care
Life to be Lived

Catherine Proot

Michael Yorke

Oxford University Press

Religious chaplaincy is an historic feature in British healing establishments going back to monastic times. Today the role has changed and widened with the inclusion of leaders of non-Christian faiths. In major illness a person’s spiritual balance can be threatened or changed and a search for a response to life’s questions can surface. Spiritual care helps people recognise the significance and purpose of their lives. When a sense of guilt, fear or failure skews the meaning of a person’s life, the chaplain can explore this and where appropriate help the patient to seek reparation and/or forgiveness. Chaplains are often asked to take a prominent part in the care of the dying and the bereaved. Spiritual and religious care should not be imposed; neither can it be left haphazardly to surface. Striking stories illustrate this. It is argued that while chaplains are particularly called to care for religious needs, spiritual care is the remit of the whole multidisciplinary team including the chaplain.

Keywords:   chaplaincy, spiritual care, guilt, regret, reparation, forgiveness, autonomy, care of the dying

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