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ss triple helix - autumn 2017,  Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care

Chaplaincy in Hospice and Palliative Care

Karen Murphy and Bob Wharton (eds)

  • Jessica Kingsley, 2017, £18.99, 208pp, ISBN 9781785920684
  • Reviewed by Jeff Stephenson, Medical Director, St Luke's Hospice Plymouth

In the evolving context of multiculturalism, secularisation, and outcome-driven healthcare, the role of hospice and palliative care chaplaincy faces enormous pressure, not least to justify its continuance as what the book describes as an 'essential piece in the patchwork of holistic care for those with life limiting illness'.

This masterly compilation of contributions from those working in the field, drawing on personal experience and the wider literature, cogently and movingly argues the case for that description. It not only informs about the complexity and diversity of a palliative care chaplain's work, but also invites the reader into that 'space between', in which they operate, a 'safe space... to consider the "ultimate questions"' that we will all one day face.

This is probably the most accessible and enlightening book I have read on spiritual care, and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to be, or works alongside, a chaplain - or might someday find themselves in need of one.

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