Helping and Healing: Religious Commitment in Health Care
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.