Wednesday, July 1, 2015

What does a Chaplain do when asked about eternal life?

Some may have reacted with shock at the last post regarding religious countertransference. When making converts takes precedence over developing a relationship with the patient, then there is a problem within the Chaplain. It is in the depth of relationship that a patient feels at ease discussing his or her concerns of the afterlife with the Chaplain. That discussion becomes a natural outflow to the trust the patient has in the Chaplain. Trust is not built overnight. The question of life eternal is a normal and natural question a hospice patient will ask when trust is established. What’s the Chaplain to do? A dependable rule of thumb is this…if your patient is from your particular faith community belief system feel free to share what that belief is about life eternal. If, however, the patient is from another belief system it is always a good idea to invite a spiritual leader from that system to provide guidance. Feel free to share your questions or comments on this very important subject by emailing me at

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