Prominent Bioethicist Urges Compassionate Care
for All Patients
Internationally-known bioethicist Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., received the HealthCare Chaplaincy Pioneer Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Health Care at our annual convocation on May 8th.
In his keynote address, Dr. Post pointed out that while medical ethics began with Hippocrates, there was no compassionate concern for the patient at that time.
“Even today,” said Dr. Post, “there is nothing in contemporary medicine that supports the idea of compassionate and equal regard for all patients according to need.”
It is only through the Abrahamic faiths, which introduce God into the equation, that compassionate care becomes codified.
Dr. Post said, “From the Prayer of Maimonides to the Christian founding of the first hospitals, from the advances made by Muslim physicians to the establishment of great medical schools in Europe and the Middle East, from Florence Nightingale’s founding of modern nursing to Dame Cicely Saunders’ establishment of the hospice movement, from Albert Schweitzer’s ‘reverence of life’ to Paul Farmer’s ‘theology of liberation,’ good medical practice owes so much to a sometimes forgotten God of love.”
You can read Dr. Post’s entire keynote address, entitled “Plant a Rose in the Desert,” here in the June 20th issue of PlainViews®, HealthCare Chaplaincy’s online professional journal for chaplains and other spiritual care providers.
Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., is a bestselling author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times. Post is professor of preventive medicine, head of the Division of Medicine in Society, and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He was previously professor of Bioethics, Religion and Philosophy, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, and senior research scholar at the Becket Institute of St. Hugh's College, Oxford University. Post is a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University.
Five Tips from TIME Magazine
for Families Facing End-of-Life Care
End-of-life care of a loved one can be the most emotionally trying experience you’ll ever have. Preparing for that eventuality in advance can help ease the burden and help you reassure yourself that you’re doing the right thing.
A recent issue of TIME magazine gives five tips for making end-of-life care easier to handle which you can read here.
A sixth tip is offered by the Rev. Sue Wintz, managing editor of PlainViews®, HealthCare Chaplaincy's online professional journal for chaplaincy and spiritual care.
Sue adds: “Families will also want to ask to meet with the palliative care team. This unique team, comprised of physician, nurse, chaplain, and social worker, are the experts at identifying the medical, spiritual, and social interventions that will not only bring the patient dignity and comfort, but help the family in sorting out next steps.
“Palliative care teams help families review and understand all the options they have, whether it be to continue very aggressive treatments, choose some treatments while declining others, or moving into comfort-only interventions – and then serve as the patient and family’s advocate during the process, including if families decide they want to look at different options as they journey along the course of illness with their loved ones.
“Palliative care works with the patient’s primary physician to control symptoms that make patients uncomfortable, such as nausea, pain, agitation or others. Most importantly, palliative care is a team effort with the patient and their family as partners.”
For additional insightful perspectives on chaplaincy and spiritual care from professional chaplains like Sue, click here to read the special new sample issue of PlainViews.
Meet Extraordinary Patient Care Honoree
A highlight of our 50th Anniversary Gala on November 3rd was the celebration of patient care honorees – remarkable men and women who provide extraordinary care for their patients. All were chosen by their peers at the partner institutions where HealthCare Chaplaincy manages, staffs, and operates board certified chaplaincy services.
HealthCare Chaplaincy Today is pleased to profile our honorees.
Here’s what her colleagues at NYU Langone Medical Center have to say about Diane Rosenstein.
“Diane, as Director of the Department of Integrative Health Programs at NYU Langone Medical Center, you have led the way in promoting comprehensive care for patients who are experiencing anxiety and pain.
As a social worker, you have fostered teamwork and have nurtured a culture of integrative caring among a group of talented caregivers. You lead with enthusiasm, compassion and an infectious sense of humor.
Diane, your generosity of spirit has touched those who work with you and you continue to encourage them to do the best they can for those for whom they care.