The Ethic of Care: A Moral Compass for Canadian Nursing Practice (Revised Edition)

The Role of Religion & Spirituality in Nursing: Respecting What the Client Believes

Author(s): Kathleen Stephany

Pp: 212-224 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811439636120010016

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The aim of Chapter eleven is to encourage nurses to work with their client’s religious and spiritual values and not to discriminate when they differ from their own. The desire to believe in God or something beyond the physical is deemed universal. Theology, religion and spirituality are an integral part of the search for something more and what most religious and spiritual beliefs share is the notion that there is more to life than physical existence. The profession of nursing has a long and enduring history of a close association with spirituality and nursing has often been referred to as a mission or calling. It is argued that religious practices are still valid for present day nursing. The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) supports this stand and recognizes parish nursing as valid. The ethic of care can be viewed as a means to spiritual connection because, like religion, spirituality values the relationship between people and all that exists in life. Nurses are also strongly encouraged to consider implementing transcultural caring guidelines for spirituality into their practice. The Chapter ends with a Case in Point: When a practicing Christian is assigned to care for an Atheist.

Keywords: Atheism, Ethic of care, Parish nurse, Religion, Spirituality, Theology.

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