Contributions from Christian ethics and Buddhist philosophy to the management of compassion fatigue in nurses
The aim in the article is to demonstrate how insights from Christian ethics and Buddhist philosophy can make contributions to the management of compassion fatigue. There are already helpful resources available that provide principles, tips, and practical guidelines for self-care. The approach here is centered on attitudinal, ethical, and philosophical issues. From the Christian tradition, the ethical principle of “equal regard” is employed. Equal regard is the notion that agape (disinterested, universal love) requires of a people that they love others neither more nor less than they love themselves. When the ethical principle that a nurse operates out of in her everyday life is self-sacrifice, self-care is much less likely to be set as a personal priority. From the Buddhist tradition, the principle of compassion with equanimity is engaged. The Buddhist ideal is opening oneself to the pain of the other while maintaining calmness or stillness of mind. It is contended that inculcation of this skill means that a nurse can be exposed to suffering without running down their store of compassion.
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