Ethical principles for spiritual care

Daniel P. Sulmasy

in Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571390
Published online August 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665037 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbook in Public Health

Ethical principles for spiritual care

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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Palliative Medicine


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This chapter provides an ethical justification for spiritual care based on the nature of healing and the nature of spirituality rather than patient preferences or healthcare outcomes. Five ethical principles to guide spiritual care are set forth: patient-centredness, holism, discretion, accompaniment, and tolerance. A number of specific ethical issues were then addressed and approaches offered based upon these principles. Good spiritual care will always be ethical, and it is hoped that these considerations will help to shape such care.

Chapter.  6004 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Palliative Medicine

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