Helping and Healing: Religious Commitment in Health Care

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Georgetown University Press, 1997 - 168 páginas

Exploring the moral foundations of the healing relationship, Edmund D. Pellegrino and David C. Thomasma offer the health care professional a highly readable Christian philosophy of medicine. This book examines the influence religious beliefs have on the kind of person the health professional should be, on the health care policies a society should adopt, and on what constitutes healing in its fullest sense.

Helping and Healing looks at the ways a religious perspective shapes the healing relationship and the ethics of that relationship. Pellegrino and Thomasma seek to clarify the role of religious belief in health care by providing a moral basis for such commitment as well as a balancing role for reason. This book establishes a common ground for believers and skeptics alike in their dedication to relieve suffering by showing that helping and healing require an involvement in the religious values of patients. It clearly argues that religion provides crucial insights into medical practice and morality that cannot be ignored, even in our morally heterogeneous society.

Central to the authors' message is the concept of patients' vulnerabilities and the need to help them recover not only from the disease but also from an existential assault on their personhood. They then show how this understanding can move caregivers to view their professions as vocations and thereby change the nature of health care from a business to a community of healing.

Physicians, nurses, administrators, clergy, theologians, and other health professionals and church leaders will find this volume helpful for their own reflections on the role of religion in the health care ministry and for making a religious commitment integral to their professional lives.

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Sobre el autor (1997)

Edmund D. Pellegrino is the leading physician-philosopher of medicine in the United States. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he was educated at St. John's University and received his M.D. from New York University in 1944. From 1959 to 1966 he was professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Kentucky, where he was involved in introducing a medical-humanities curriculum. He then held a number of administrative positions: academic vice-president and dean of the School of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1966--73), chancellor and vice-president for health affairs at the University of Tennessee (1973--75), president of the Yale-New Haven Medical Center (1975--78), president of the Catholic University of America (1978--82), and director of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University (1983-89). He is currently director of the Center for the Advanced Study of Ethics at Georgetown University. During his career, Pellegrino has remained extremely active in professional societies for the medical humanities. He has also been a prolific author of medical articles, including articles on medical ethics and medical humanities, and he has written two books on the philosophy of medicine. Pellegrino is best known, however, as a dynamic lecturer to medical school faculties, medical students, and the general public on a wide variety of topics relevant to medical ethics and the philosophy of medicine. Although no books have been written about Pellegrino, the spring 1990 issue of the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy is devoted to a discussion of his philosophy.

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