Space, Time and Shared Humanity

A Case Study Demonstrating a Chaplain’s Role in End-of-Life Care


  • Lynn Bassett Lancaster University



case study, chaplain, end-of-life, multi-disciplinary, spiritual care


Care is often perceived as “doing something”; spiritual care also involves “being with” another person. This case, set in a hospice inpatient unit, highlights a relationship between being and doing, and the role of chaplains within multi-disciplinary teams, in palliative care. During ward round, a patient learned that he was dying. He appeared overwhelmed; he had a young family and much to organize. Following an informal assessment, the chaplain’s aim was to offer him time and the opportunity to talk. For both, this became a space of uncertainty and vulnerability. It represented a pivotal point in his care as he regained control. After this encounter, other members of the multidisciplinary team assisted him to do what he needed. He died peacefully. The case demonstrates the value of spiritual care in relationship with the support of physical, psychological and social needs of people at the end of life, and their families.

Author Biography

Lynn Bassett, Lancaster University

Lynn Bassett is a retired healthcare chaplain with experience in acute and palliative care. Her doctoral thesis presents a phenomenological exploration of spiritual caregiving silence and its value in end-of-life care.


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How to Cite

Bassett, L. (2018). Space, Time and Shared Humanity: A Case Study Demonstrating a Chaplain’s Role in End-of-Life Care. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 5(2), 194–208.