In the course of caring for the ill or dying, health care professionals are sometimes the only ones available to provide spiritual comfort to their patients. In our modern pluralistic society, where patients could come from any number of religious traditions, it can often be difficult to find exactly the right words in these situations.
Prayers and Rituals at a Time of Illness and Dying: The Practices of Five World Religions by experienced physician and theologian Pat Fosarelli offers clear instructions for health care professionals on how to better understand the needs of their Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish patients during these difficult times. Devoting separate chapters to each tradition, Fosarelli briefly outlines the basic beliefs and then looks at the main tenets of each religion, exploring the varied approaches that they take to illness and end-of-life issues. For each tradition, she also describes practices and offers suitable prayers. Each chapter suggests modifications that may be necessary for Western hospitals, modifications for children, and specific suggestions about what not to do or say in respect to different faith traditions.
This easy-to-use, pocket-sized resource will be referenced again and again by physicians, paramedics, hospital and military chaplains, pastoral counselors, hospice providers, and other medical professionals.
Pat Fosarelli, MD, DMin, is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and professor of spirituality and practical theology and assistant dean at the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary and University. She has authored or edited nine other books and she lives in Baltimore, Maryland.