How does spirituality relate to ethics? Robinson's book explores this relationship using case studies. He carefully considers how spirituality and ethics can be integrated in the practice of health and social care. There are many illuminating passages, eg on the meaning of agape love and its inclusive commitment to others. The case study on the family whose elderly father has Alzheimer's disease demonstrates clearly how each family member is attempting to make sense of the situation by trying to apply ethics 'previously worked out', and being tested by that. The author notes that addressing patients' spiritual needs is now a recognised part of the therapeutic response, but that there are no guidelines on achieving this. He endeavours to provide a practical framework so those in the caring professions can engage with the spirituality of their patient. He also challenges the reader's spirituality and how it affects ethical decision-making.
This book requires careful reading in order to engage with the author's approach. It is a book to return to, perhaps guided by the helpful index. I found this a refreshing exploration of a difficult subject and would recommend it to healthcare professionals who make ethical decisions with their patients and clients.