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Pastoral Care and the Rights of the Dying

Pastoral Care and the Rights of the Dying

Caring for the Dying and Their Rights It is so common to speak about the dying and the  rights of the dying instead of to them.  They almost become the giant elephant in the room.  However, from a spiritual and ethical prism, the dying have rights that must be preserved and respected.  As people they have human rights and their needs, concerns and issues need to be met with compassion and professionalism.  In caring for the dying, we must remember these five rights. The first rights of the dying is that they have a right to know as much of the truth that

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The Pastoral Care Giving Provider as an Exquisite Witness

The Pastoral Care Giving Provider as an Exquisite Witness

What is an Exquisite Witness in Pastoral Care? In Pastoral Care, one crosses the line of just merely a provider but also a spiritual friend.  A friend who is there to comfort and reassure the spiritual and emotional element of a patient.  An Exquisite Witness is one who personifies this element of care of the dying. From a defintion, an Exquisite Witness is a ”health care, pastoral, or volunteer care provider  who enters the sacred space between two human souls-having the deepest respect for the yearning, seeking, and wishful hopes of the other to diminish the pain and survive in a new world after a loss.” Beyond

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Cultural Diversity in Care Giving

Cultural Diversity in Care Giving

Caregivers Need to be Culturally Sensative to Their Patient’s Needs As the world has become smaller, interaction with other creeds, cultures and races has become more prevelant in all aspects of life.  Caregiving is no exception as doctors, nurses, pastoral counselors and other caregivers find themselves in direct contact with different cultures who demand and deserve certain care. Within the area of grief, it is essential, according to John Bowlby, that we understand cross-cultural ideals, especially in grief to better provide the vital care patients need.  Rituals, mourning, and family interaction varies from culture to culture and  health care providers need to respect these particular cultures in their

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Who Cares About the Pastoral Caregivers?

Who Cares About the Pastoral Caregivers?

Pastoral Care for the One Who Cares the Most My grandmother cared tirelessly for my grandfather and as his health gradually deterioated he became more needy in his everyday activities.  Fortunately for my grandfather, my grandmother was a nurse and knew how to care for someone who was gradually becoming less and less physically capable.  Her energy level was amazing and my grandfather through the final two surgeries received top notch care and affection.  After my grandfather’s eventual death, my grandmother finally slowed down some herself, almost as if her body knew she no longer was needed everyday.   Still alive, still moving, but now with a cane,

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Pastoral Care and Use of Advance Directives

Pastoral Care and Use of Advance Directives

Pastoral Care Giving and Advance Directives It is important in Pastoral Care to also ensure that the needs of the dying patient are met in full.  This not only involves physical and spiritual support but also helping one fulfill their end desires for themselves or family.  Advance Directives are essential elements in knowing exactly what the dying patient would want or wish if he/she is unconscious or unresponsive in his/her final hours. An Advance Medicial Directive can solve many problems in regards to who takes charger in an event if the person loses consciousness.  It also lays out groundwork for care givers and medicial providers to

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St. Camillus, Patron of Physicians, Pastoral Caregivers

St. Camillus, Patron of Physicians, Pastoral Caregivers

A Saint for Pastoral Caregivers to Model Themselves After St. Camillus of Lellis was born in 1550, oringally a soldier only to become a pastoral caregiver to the sick and wounded of war.  This saint founded the The Order of the Camillans who assisted at battlefields, served in hospitals, and went out to the streets to care for the sick. The Order of the Camillans to this day is the symbol of the red cross as it spreads its sacred mission to find Christ in the least of one’s brethren.  The Order’s comittment is so strong that they even take a fourth vow.  This vow states

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Euthanasia: A Pastoral Care Paradox?

Euthanasia: A Pastoral Care Paradox?

Pastoral Care and Euthanasia Many in pastoral care are faced with the dilemma of euthanasia.  Although banned in many states, the right to die movement is a powerful one.  This movement, however, is far from pastoral.  It may paint images of taking someone out of their misery with compassion or ironically tying the words “mercy” and “killing” together, but if one looks beyond this, one will find nothing pastoral regarding euthanasia. Euthansia is murder.  It is that simple and those who seek to bring Christ to the dying and wish to represent a pastoral element can never condone it.  Euthanais is suicide of despair.  It is the

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Hospice and Pastoral Care

Hospice and Pastoral Care

Hospice and Pastoral Care Giving For many the choice of hospice is a painful one.  Intrinsic to hospice is the idea that one has given up and medicine can no longer save one’s loved one.  One feels defeat and dismay but the reality is one is freeing him or herself from the bondage of self and accepting the will of Christ.  Pastoral Care Givers have an opportunity to help others accept the final leg of their journey.  They can also help families learn acceptance and find some joy in the final days.  Furthermore, once prolongation of life is no longer the goal, then comfort becomes

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The Spiritual Message of Pastoral Thanatology

The Spiritual Message of Pastoral Thanatology

Pastoral Counselors Must Be Like the Good Samaritan The spiritual message of Pastoral Thanatology echoes with the words of Christ when he said “when you do something for the least of your brethen, you do it for me”.   When a pastoral counselor walks downs the halls of a hospital or nursing home, he or she should see Christ in all the faces of the people. Christ pointed this out best in his parable of the “Good Samaritan” where only a Samaritan was willing to help an injured man.  Pastoral Counselors encounter Christ in the faces of the suffering on a

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Pastoral Care and the Teachings of Christianity

Pastoral Care and the Teachings of Christianity

Pastoral Care and Church Teaching Pope John Paul the II, one of the most prominent Christian figures of the 20th century, was not just a leader of the Catholic Church but also a visible sign of unity for all Christians.  During his lfietime, he spoke on a variety of topics and Pastoral Care was not an exception.  Below is a document he wrote in commission of the Pastoral Care Commission of Health Care Professionals. In the Papal Document, Dolentium Hominem, Pope John Paul II discussed the need for Pastoral Care of Health Care Professionals for the world’s suffering.  He speaks of Christian dignity in dying and how pastoral counselors