Wednesday, August 15, 2007

More Worthwhile Reading for Chaplains and Others

I have commended before articles published in the online journal Plainviews, and have a link to Plainviews in my sidebar. Today I want to highlight two articles in the current edition in the Advocacy section.

The first article is “Healthcare Through a Theological Lens,” by Chaplain Keith Goheen of Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, Deleware. Starting with his own experience of the movie, “Sicko,” Chaplain Goheen offers a concise, coherent theological reflection on the American healthcare system, and American political will. His article is well worth the brief time it will take you to read.

The second article is "The Borg of Bioethics," by Nancy Berlinger of the Hastings Center. She writes about the classic ethics text, The Principles of Biomedical Ethics, by Beauchamp and Childress. Principles is notable as the primary source for most of us in healthcare of the Georgetown Mantra. Berlinger writes of the way the four principles of the Mantra have come to overwhelm and supercede almost all other principles in healthcare ethics, a concern which I share. Again, the article is not long but well worth your attention.

(And for more of my own reflections, look in the Labels under Health Care and Episcopal Culture.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my blogspot, Marshall. I went to a seminary in Kansas City for one year (2003)but now attend in OKC. I have my confusions posted on my blogspot with chaplain care versus pastoral or spiritual care. Working with hospices has given me a view of care from many sides. I'm not questioning my "calling", but rather the purpose. Who am I as a chaplain in relation to the community? Elementary thoughts, I know, but these are mine right now, all the same.

Marshall Scott said...


I will certainly look in on your "confusions;" I may have something helpful to offer.

As to whether your question about "a chaplain in relation to the community" is elementary: well, in my experience that is an ongoing, and sometimes complicated issue. You're involved in several communities, as are we all: the intitution we serve; any professional organization of which we're a part; the faith community that raised us up; perhaps the local judicatory of that faith community; and the specific congregation of that faith community within which we worship. If you're like me, doing supply work on Sundays, you may be involved in some meaningful sense with several congregations. I don't mean to overthink this, but in each of these relationships being a chaplain makes a distinction. Those take some time to work out, and the "resolutions" have to be somewhat fluid and flexible out of necessity. You may feel early in the process, and in that sense it may feel "elementary;" but I want you to appreciate that it isn't necessarily simple at all.