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Palliative care 

Palliative care
Chapter:
Palliative care
Author(s):

Jackie Ellis

and Mari Lloyd-Williams

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199571390.003.0036
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date: 21 October 2017

Spiritual care has risen in visibility in health services over the last two decades, from a position where it was equated with religious care and regarded as the sole province of chaplains to one where a broad concept of spirituality is employed and spiritual care is recognized as having relevance for all sectors and to lie potentially within the remit of all health and social care workers. However, this perceptual shift has not necessarily occurred at the level of practice, and there is anecdotal and other evidence of continuing uncertainty and ambiguity over how, when, and where spiritual need should be addressed. In this chapter, using exemplifiers from policy, practice and research, we look at how spiritual issues are addressed and explore the practice of spiritually within palliative care and identify the challenges to its implementation, as well as defining the concept of palliative care and locating it in its historical context.

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