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Carer or journeyer? Some faith perspectives on the caring role Margaret McGettrick NSMHF.

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Presentation on theme: "Carer or journeyer? Some faith perspectives on the caring role Margaret McGettrick NSMHF."— Presentation transcript:

1 Carer or journeyer? Some faith perspectives on the caring role Margaret McGettrick NSMHF

2 What is care? ‘Its meaning is anything but clear’ Vacek 2001:10 A useful definition: ‘The need to address suffering with compassion, with attention to the others specific needs, that motivates action’ Gudorf 2001:72

3 Meanings of care Care as human benefit To provide with some human benefit Care as benevolence Doing good and wanting to do that good Care as responsibility Accepting the role of care taker Care as affection Concern and devotion Care for the sake of a.Altruism: affirm them as persons and want their betterment for their own sakes costly to us b.For our sake [like, find them interesting-eros care

4 The care process Notice need Feeling Empathy- feeling with Compassion-compulsion to act Choice To act or not Feeling of care Caring action

5 Compassion Lies at the heart of care and at the heart of all religions-embodied in their sacred texts. ‘Sensitivity to the suffering of self and others with a deep commitment to try to relieve it’. Dalai Lama cited in McGettrick 2014:87

6 Faith perspectives Buddhist tradition- ‘loving kindness’-1/6 perfections- ‘may love & compassion be your teacher’ HH Dalai Lama [Sara Jane Aris] compassion-our true nature. Jewish Tradition-Torah-Love your neighbour as yourself [Leviticus 19:18]. Talmud. Maimonides-forbidden to see suffering as a consequence of sin [Kate Lowenthal]. Christian tradition-Love god and love your neighbour as yourself. God is love. Compassion is a quality of love. Hindu tradition. [Chetna Khan] Vedic perspectives: Compassionate by nature. We discover compassion. A never ending resource. Layers: merciful, magnanimous, welfare work for others with your life, wealth, intelligence and words ‘Pure love of God & genuine compassion for all beings’ Muslim tradition

7 Models of care Rescue associated with cure medical or religious care as a consolation prize when cure is not forthcoming Comfort

8 Caring as a spiritual practice Example from Christianity: Scripture psalm 23 ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ He restores [me] You are with me…your rod and staff comfort me Sometimes rescuing power Always his consoling presence Care providers instruments through which these qualities of God are manifest. Connors & Frank 2001:218

9 Types of care Professional/functional care givers Caring actions Competence/technical care central Personal communities as care givers family, church,friends Attitudinal care- being well disposed toward ‘visits, phone calls, cards, flowers, offers of assistance…reminders they were thinking about, praying for and available to us’ Camenisch 2001:243

10 Professional or personal care ‘…prepared to assist me back to health and wholeness…to whatever wholeness would remain possible and appropriate for me…assuring me that I remained part of the community’….demonstrated my value to them…a self they continued to value, to nurture and to make a place for’…contributing to my healing….secondary to the real healing done by the professionals…then …giving pride of place to the personal communities and establishing their healing activities as the paradigm to which I wished the professional community to conform’ Camenisch 2001:257

11 Current legislation Care Act 2014 I.Carer enshrined in law II. Carer’s rights to assessment and assistance Compassion in practice 2012 I.A programme of activities that will encourage professional caregivers to learn about and practice compassionate care II.Promote 6 C’s [ care, compassion, competence, courage and commitment

12 Questions for discussion 1.Does the term ‘carer’ put a wedge into what should be a natural relationship? 2.Can we ‘de-professionalise’ and enable or rekindle the ‘loving kindness’ inherent in the caring relationship?

13 Bibliography Camenisch, Paul, F. [2001]. ‘Communities of care, of trust, and of healing’, in in D,F Cates & P Lauritzen [eds.] Medicine and the Ethics of Care. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press. Pp Connors, Russel B., & Franke, Chris, A. [2001]. ‘God and an ethic of care: On being Emmanuel, in in D,F Cates & P Lauritzen [eds.] Medicine and the Ethics of Care. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press. pp Gudorf, Christine, E. [2001]. ‘The need for integrating care ethics into hospital care: A case study’, in in D,F Cates & P Lauritzen [eds.] Medicine and the Ethics of Care. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press.pp McGettrick, Margaret. [2014]. ‘Spirituality, listening to the service user’s story, compassion and an ethic of care’, in A. Hawes & B. Bano [eds.] Crossing the River. Hove, East Sussex: Pavilion Publishing and Media Ltd. pp Vacek, Edward, Collins. [2001]. ‘The emotions of care in health care’, in D,F Cates & P Lauritzen [eds.] Medicine and the Ethics of Care. Washington D.C: Georgetown University Press. pp


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