Ethical Questions in Healthcare ­Chaplaincy

Author: Pia Matthews
ISBN 978-1-78592-421-7
Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2018. Paperback 192 pp £19.99. Pastoral Review bookshop price £18.00

The title of this book is very precise – the emphasis is on questions not answers, and the focus is the working hospital chaplain, not a sixth-former or degree student. This defined purpose means that one can be very specific on whether the book achieves its purpose and the judgement of this reviewer - who is a chaplain in a large hospital two days a week - is that it does.

Matthews lays out the field of values pertaining to various types of ethical questions common in healthcare chaplaincy, along with at least one vivid case study illustrating the tensions round the relevant question. The questions include dignity of the human person, consent, confidentiality, beginning of life, end of life, and particular questions in respect of babies, children and young adults.
There are also chapters on loss, bereavement and conscientious objection.

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