• Lindsay Carey La Trobe University
  • Christopher J. Newell † formerly, University of Tasmania



Chaplains, chaplaincy, pastoral care, In Vitro Fertilization


This paper summarizes the quantitative and qualitative exploratory research findings concerning the pastoral interventions undertaken by Australian health care chaplains when assisting patients and clinical staff involved in IVF procedures. Differences between staff and volunteer chaplains are noted as are the perspectives of chaplaincy informants regarding their involvement in IVF. Some possible reasons why chaplains may not be involved in IVF procedures are also suggested. Implications of this study with respect to chaplaincy utility, training and future research are noted.

Author Biographies

Lindsay Carey, La Trobe University

Rev. Dr. Lindsay Carey, MAppSc, PhD, is Lecturer and Research Fellow in Palliative and Pastoral Care at the School of Public Health, La Trobe University (Melbourne Australia).

Christopher J. Newell †, formerly, University of Tasmania

Rev. Prof. Christopher J. Newell, AM, PhD, was the Associate Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) and Associate Priest at St. David's Cathedral, Hobart (Tasmania). He died on the 21st of June 2008. Memorial services were conducted at All Saints Anglican Church, Hobart (1st July 2008) and the Sir Stanley Burbury Theatre, University of Tasmania (3 rd July 2008


CAREY, L.B., DAVOREN, R.P. (2008) Interfaith pastoral care and the role of the health care chaplain, Scottish Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 11 (1): 21-32.

CAREY, L.B., RUMBOLD, B., NEWELL, C. (2006a) Pain Control and health care chaplaincy in Australia. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, Vol. 32, No. 6, p. 589-601.

CAREY, L.B., RUMBOLD, B., NEWELL, C.J., ARONI, A. (2006b) Bioethical issues and health care chaplaincy in Australia. Scottish Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy; 9, 1: 23 - 30.

CAREY, L.B., NEWELL, C.J. (2007a) Withdrawal of life support and chaplaincy in Australia, Critical Care & Resuscitation, 9, 1, 34-39.

CAREY, L.B., NEWELL, C.J. (2007b) Abortion and health care chaplaincy in Australia, Journal of Religion and Health, 46, 2, 315 – 335.

CAREY, L.B., NEWELL, C.J. (2007c) Chaplaincy and Resuscitation. (Journal of) Resuscitation, 75 (1): 12-22.

CAREY, L.B., MEESE, C. (2005) Do pastoral care and spirituality services make a positive difference?, Ministry, Society & Theology; 19 (1): 114 – 127.

CAREY, L.B., COBB, M., EQUEALL, D. (2005) From pastoral contacts to pastoral interventions, Scottish Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy; 8 (1): 14 - 20.

CAREY, L.B., HOLMES, C., NEVEN, E. (2004) Chaplaincy and pastoral care services Pilot program process: A case study. Ministry, Society & Theology;18 (1): 109-126.

CAREY, L. B., ARONI, R., & EDWARDS, A. (1997) Health policy and well-being: Hospital chaplaincy. In H. Gardner (Ed.), Health policy in Australia, Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 190 - 210.

CAREY, L. B. (1993) Religiosity and health: A review and synthesis. Sydney, New Doctor; 60: 26 - 32.

DELONG, W.R. (1993) Organ transplantation in religious, ethical and social context. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, New York, Haworth Press, Vol. 5, No. 1& 2.

DEVETTERE, R. J. (1995) Practical decision making in health care ethics: Cases and concepts. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

ELLIOT, H. & CAREY, L.B. (1996) The hospital chaplain's role in an organ transplant unit, Ministry, Society & Theology, Vol. 10, No. 1, p.66 - 77

EMERY, G. (2002) Defects higher on IVF. Herald Sun, Melbourne, 8 March: 10.

FLETCHER, D. B. (1995) Reproductive technology. In D. J. Atkinson & D. H. Field (Eds.), A new dictionary of Christian ethics and pastoral theology, Nashville: Abingdon; 733-734.

GARRETT, T. M., BAILLIE, H. W., & GARRETT, R. M. (1993) Health care ethics: Principles & problems. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

HAMILTON, M. (2000) Ethics in infertility treatment. Scottish Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 3 (1): 9-14.

HICKMAN, B. (2002) IVF doubles risk of birth defects, The Australian, Sydney, 8 March: 3.

HOOTON. I. (2001) IVF. The Age Good Weekend, Melbourne, December 8: 20-25.

JOHNSTONE, M-J. (1995) Bioethics: a nursing perspective (2ed). Marrickville, NSW: Harcourt Brace & Company.

KOENIG, H.G., MCCULLOUGH, M.E., LARSON, D.B. (2001) Handbook of religion and health. Philadelphia: Oxford University Press.

LEWINS, F. (1996) Bioethics for health professionals. South Melbourne: Macmillan Education Australia.

MCFARLIN, P. & CAREY, L.B. (2004) 'I'm not religious but please pray': The coding of pastoral visits by Anglican chaplains at the Royal Adelaide Hospital'. Ministry, Society & Theology; 18 (2): 211 – 225.

MINICHIELLO, V., ARONI, R., TIMEWELL, E., & ALEXANDER, L.. (1996) In-depth interviewing: Principles, techniques & analysis. Melbourne: Longman Australia.

NADER, C. (2007) High-tech step for IVF as baby comes in from the cold. The Age, Melbourne, Feb.27, p. 3

NCCH (2002) Pastoral Intervention Codings. Tabular List of Procedures ICD-10-AM: Australian Classification of Health Interventions, Vol. 3 of The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, the National Centre for Classification of Health (NCCH), University of Sydney, Sydney.

NEWELL, C. & CAREY, L.B. (2001) Euthanasia and Hospital Chaplaincy in Australia, Interface: Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 4, No. 2 (October), p. 86 - 100

NOBLE, T. (2002) Study finds IVF defects double. The Age, Melbourne, 8 March: 7.

PAULSON, R.J., SAUER, M.V. (2002) Factors effecting embryo implantation after invitrofertilization: A hypothesis. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1990: 163, 6, 1.

PETERSON, C. (1997) Quantitative approaches to evaluation in health care. In, H. Gardner (Ed.), Health policy in Australia, Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 190 – 210.

RAE, S. B. (1995) Moral choices: An introduction to ethics. Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.

SCHWARTZ, M., Polgar, S. (2003) Statistics for evidence-based health care. Tertiary Press, Croydon.

THOMPSON, I. E., MELIA, K. M., BOYD, K. M. (1994) Nursing ethics. (3rd ed.). London: Churchill Livingston.

VAN LOON, A.M., CAREY, L.B. (2002) Faith Community Nursing and Health Care Chaplaincy in Australia: A New Collaboration. In Vandecreek, L. & Mooney, S. (Eds.) Parish Nurses, Health Care Chaplains and Community Clergy: Navigating the Maze of Professional Relationships. New York: Haworth Press: 143-157.



How to Cite

Carey, L., & Newell †, C. (2013). IN VITRO FERTILIZATION AND HEALTH CARE CHAPLAINCY: AN AUSTRALIAN EXPLORATORY STUDY. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 11(2), 20–30.