Where clergy need to tread: Helping make end-of-life medical choices

(RNS) What are the most difficult and painful questions rabbis, priests, pastors or imams face at the bedside of a dying member?

Surprise: It’s not abstract theological or metaphysical queries.

Rather, THE questions, usually asked in a hospital room, go like this. “My beloved family member is gravely ill. The doctors are recommending some extraordinary and complex medical treatments. I am confused and I am being asked to make a decision. As my spiritual leader, please tell me, what should I do?”

Helping make realistic and sensible medical decisions is rapidly becoming the single most important aspect in a clergyperson’s life. That assertion is based upon my 18 years as a member of the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law. More

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About The Rev. Thomas C. Jackson

Ordained to the priesthood in December, 2010.
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