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Pastoral Thanatology and End of Life Issues

End of Life Ethical Confusion and Pastoral Thanatology Issues

pastoral thanatology

pastoral thanatology

As one’s loved one faces death, many difficult decisions arise that involve ethics and unfortunately financical cost.  Ultimately, we want what is best for our loved ones no matter the cost.  Peace, spiritual happiness and the least amount of suffering is usually the biggest things on our mind.  Pastoral Thanatology deals with many of these issues.  Below is a story of such issues.

Regarding this, David Weber writes in “End of a Life: What Patients and Families Should Know” about  this issue.  In the article, he specifically mentions Lisa Kreiger and her dealings with high hospital costs and ethical confusion as her father’s final days counted down.

One day last July, Lisa Krieger, a reporter for the San Jose Mercury News, found her frail, 88-year-old father trembling violently and babbling incoherently in his room in the assisted living facility where he was still recuperating from surgery on a hip broken in a fall. He also suffered from advancing Alzheimer’s disease. She rushed him to the emergency room at Stanford Medical Center, in nearby Palo Alto, Calif.; the diagnosis was septicemia. He was catheterized, X-rayed, treated with antibiotics and blood pressure medication, hooked to a ventilator and admitted to the intensive care unit.

Over the next five days, amid a cascade of symptoms, diagnostic tests, specialists’ opinions, agonized surrogate decisions by his daughter and interventions that each, in its turn, would prove futile, the unconscious Ken Krieger generated $283,750 in medical bills.

To read the rest of the article, please click the link.



Pastoral Thanatology and pastoral care givers can help one with these many choices and ensure that your loved one receives the spiritual, emotional and physical help he or she needs.

If you are interested in a Pastoral Thanatology Certification, please click here.

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