Advancing Spiritual Care Through Research

The Chaplain as Faithful Companion: A Response to King’s Case Study

This article is a response to a case study describing the spiritual care provided over an 18-month period by an experienced professional chaplain at a prominent cancer center to a woman undergoing stem cell transplantation following therapy for relapsed leukemia. The author, a professional chaplain at another cancer center, reviews the spiritual assessment, interventions, and outcomes presented by the attending chaplain. The author’s comments are organized about the chaplain’s characterization of the seven parts of the patient’s spiritual profile: courage, meaning, psychological issues, courage and growth in facing spiritual=religious struggle, rituals, community, and authority. The purpose of the response is to engage those inside and outside the discipline of health care chaplaincy in a conversation about the specific aspects of providing spiritual care in health care settings.