Consultation on guide to spiritual care of the dying

A consultation draft of a guide on the spiritual care of the dying person has been published today by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

The aim of the Guide is to provide some practical guidance on how to give 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 caring for 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, Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Fr James Hanvey SJ, Theological consultant to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales.

Comments on the consultation draft should be sent  to no later than Friday, 26 February 2010

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