Reviews

Multifaith Care for Sick and Dying Children and their Families: A Multidisciplinary Guide

This is a book written specifically for nurses and healthcare workers involved with the care of sick and dying children and young people

This is a book written specifically for nurses and healthcare workers involved with the care of sick and dying children and young people.

While there are resources on the spiritual needs and care of children in general, not too much is available on the religious and cultural needs of sick children and their families in hospitals and hospices. This book was written to fill that gap.

Although the book is clearly divided into chapters dealing with different faith groups, there is so much information in them that it is difficult to take it all in.

One theme running through the book is: ‘Do not assume you know: ask the family/child,’ which is good advice for any interaction with a family and certainly in cultural and religious matters. In some places, paradoxically, despite all the information, the book comes across as somewhat superficial and vague – but perhaps that is inevitable, given the vastness of the authors’ brief.

It becomes clear, however, that in most cultures children are seen as sufficiently different from adults to warrant separate rules and laws of religion. It also becomes clear that at their core all faith traditions advocate peace, inner harmony and benevolence. More unites people of different faiths than divides them.

This book would be a useful addition to any nursing or hospital library but would be best used alongside paediatric lectures in university departments, and consulted as required by paediatric professionals and chaplains in hospitals and hospices.

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