The Chaplain as the Mediator Between the Patient and the Interdisciplinary Team in Ethical Decision Making

A Chaplaincy Case Study Involving a Quadriplegic Patient

Authors

  • Jeffery N. Murphy University of Mississippi Medical Center

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.34301

Keywords:

Case study, chaplain, decision making, ethics, spinal cord injury, spiritual care

Abstract

Patients who have life changing injuries may have repeated hospitalizations. Because staff often change it may be difficult for these patients to build trusting relationships with care team members. This can cause problems when the patient faces difficult ethical decisions. The chaplain is sometimes in a unique position to build trust with the patient and to help the patient use spirituality and a sense of values in making these decisions. The following case study demonstrates this with “Wayne”, a spinal cord injury patient in his early twenties. Because of Wayne’s relationship with me as I visited with him over multiple admissions, as his chaplain, I was able to mediate between Wayne and the treatment team when he faced with an ethical decision.

Author Biography

Jeffery N. Murphy, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Jeffery Murphy is a chaplain at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.

References

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Oates, W. (1982) The Christian Pastor, 3rd edn. Philadelphia, PA: Westminster Press.

Pesut, B., S. Sinclair, G. Fitchett, M. Greig and S. E. Koss (2016) “Health Care Chaplaincy: A Scoping Review of the Evidence 2009–2014”. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy 22(2): 67–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/08854726.2015.1133185

Piderman, K. M. (2015) “‘Why Did God Do This to Me?’ – Angela, a 17-Year-old Girl with Spinal Injury”. In Spiritual Care in Practice: Case Studies in Healthcare Chaplaincy, ed. G. Fitchett and S. Nolan, 69–89. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Published

2018-04-12

How to Cite

Murphy, J. (2018). The Chaplain as the Mediator Between the Patient and the Interdisciplinary Team in Ethical Decision Making: A Chaplaincy Case Study Involving a Quadriplegic Patient. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 5(2), 241–256. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.34301