’This book would be a great resource for any health care practitioner caring for families of different faiths and is likely to be well-used in any children’s health care team.’
Title: Multifaith Care for Sick and Dying Children and Their Families
Authors: Paul Nash, Madeleine Parkes, Zamir Hussain
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Reviewer: Alison Taylor, Senior Lecturer in Child Health Nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton
What was it like
A comprehensive guide to looking after the spiritual and religious needs of children and families in health care settings. It is written by a mixed team of faith leaders and experts and draws on their experiences in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Midlands.
What were the highlights
The book is detailed and well-structured, covering the key considerations of six major world religions in turn. Issues including rituals and customs, festivals and events, family life (including attitudes to women and children), taboos, prohibitions and views on health, illness, hospital care and dying, are all summarised. Diversity in faith and culture is highlighted as a positive aspect to be celebrated and explored.
Strengths and weaknesses
The writing is clearly borne of extensive experience and offers many personal insights from the authors, reminding the reader to examine their own attitudes as much as learning about others’ spiritual needs. Information is clear and balanced and a consistent message throughout is ”ask, don’t assume”. Clearly there are many denominations that cannot be covered; and although atheism is mentioned as an alternative to faith, it would be helpful to highlight the support that hospital chaplains often give to people with no faith as well. Key definitions are given although a separate glossary would be helpful.
Who should read it
This book would be a great resource for any health care practitioner caring for families of different faiths and is likely to be well-used in any children’s health care team.