Spiritual care, broadly conceived, is necessary for the person who is dying, but also for family members and care providers.
The origins of contemporary hospice care in the work of Dame Cicely Saunders in the post WWII decades was rooted in the recognition of the complex, multidimensional nature of end of life.
Over the course of several months in 2014, the authors visited four hospice organizations, each informed by an explicit religious context: the Catholic Hospice in Miami, Florida; the Zen Hospice Project in San Francisco, California; the Salvation Army Agapé Hospice in Calgary, Alberta; and, the Jewish Hospice Program of Jewish Family & Child in Toronto, Ontario.
Though framed and informed by religious traditions, each of these hospice programs is inclusive, serving a diverse range of persons.
Historically, conceptual and institutional developments in modern medicine have been premised on the exclusion of religious (or spiritual) attitudes, ideas, and practices.
During the same period, health care has become almost exclusively the provenance of the modern western state, which, like modern medicine, defined itself in part by excluding religion and spirituality from its business .
One possible way to enhance the provision of spiritual care would be to focus on the contributions of individual care providers [14, 15] or specialist spiritual care providers .
However, experience shows that without organization-wide support for individual care providers’ efforts, depending solely on the motivation and abilities of individual providers leads to mixed results .
The interviews were analyzed iteratively using the constant comparison method within a grounded theory approach.
Nine Principles for organizational support for spiritual care emerged from the interviews.