A consultation draft of a guide on the spiritual care of the dying person has been published by the Bishops’ Conference (2 February 2010).
The aim of the guide is to provide some practical pointers for busy healthcare professionals in the delivery of good spiritual care at the end of life. The guide includes sections on ethical issues regarding treatment at the end of life, and the use of the Liverpool Care pathway. It also includes a more reflective exploration of death, and some of the specific issues that arise in delivering care to Catholic patients and those of other faiths.
Bishop Tom Williams, Chairman of the Healthcare Reference Group of the Bishops’ Conference said:
“Our hope is that this small guide will be of practical use to healthcare professionals caring for those who are dying. It is a sensitive area and the expert group who have prepared this draft would welcome comments particularly from healthcare professionals and chaplains. We would like this Guide to be as clear, practical and helpful as possible”
The working group which has prepared the draft Guide includes Professor David Jones, (Director of the Centre for Bioethics & Emerging Technologies, St Mary’s University College, Twickenham), Fr Paul Mason (Catholic chaplain Guys and St Thomas NHS Hospital Trust), Dr Cathy Gleeson (Dr Catherine Gleeson, Consultant in Palliative Medicine, St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley) and Fr James Hanvey SJ, (Theological consultant to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales).
Comments on the consultation draft should be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 26 February 2010.