Is God Still at the Bedside? The Medical, Ethical, and Pastoral Issues of Death and Dying

Is God Still at the Bedside? The Medical, Ethical, and Pastoral Issues of Death and Dying

Is God Still at the Bedside? The Medical, Ethical, and Pastoral Issues of Death and Dying

Is God Still at the Bedside? The Medical, Ethical, and Pastoral Issues of Death and Dying

Synopsis

Abigail Rian Evans here examines the medical, ethical, theological, pastoral, and legal issues surrounding death and dying from a Christian perspective. Her work is informed by insights from patients, their families, and health care staff and results in a book that will ably assist professionals, patients, and their families in making difficult end-of-life decisions.

Excerpt

Why write a book on death and dying? Because death will come to everyone and often will be accompanied by painful and difficult choices. As we struggle with these choices, we look for guidance, hope, and insight as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. This book attempts to provide an overview of the issues surrounding death and dying. in twenty-five years of teaching death and dying courses, I have discovered that most books in this field are collections of single-subject essays by various authors gathered and edited in a single volume. While these are valuable works that contribute significantly to the literature, a single-author text that draws on a variety of disciplines may lend more of a cogency and coherence to the analysis of these issues.

We begin with a tour of the medical, ethical, theological, pastoral, and legal landscape that relates to end-of-life issues; this will provide a foundation for the current complexities in addressing the needs and concerns of the dying. Such an overview will also help the reader understand the interrelatedness of each of these various topics. These perspectives will be placed within the realities of contemporary society — a society that is supporting a rapidly aging population — by providing basic facts and statistics about our social and economic situation. I hope that this material will invite further in-depth reading and research on the part of the reader.

I wrote this book for a diverse readership. First, it can be used as a textbook for courses on death and dying, bioethics, and other disciplines that address end-of-life issues. Second, physicians, nurses, Faith Community Nurses, clergy, and those in related professions may find this book useful for understanding the range of issues for those in ministry to the dying and their families. Third, it can be used by individuals and their families as a source of information with specific guidelines for making . . .

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